Photo taken by Lara Hannemann.
With businesses closing and more people getting laid off, this holiday season will not be so jolly for many Plainfield families. Several North clubs hope to help out the community and spread some holiday cheer.
The National Honor Society (NHS) is hosting a food drive before winter break through the foundation Bags of Hope to donate to families with food insecurities.
“Currently Bags of Hope has been collecting the goods that have been collected,” NHS co-sponsor Ginger Brest said. “Otherwise, monetary gifts have been mailed to the charitable organization.”
Fellow co-sponsor Rachel Hidalgo along with NHS members have made it their goal to help out different community members.
“We give back to the community for people who need canned goods,” senior Gabby Toong said.
This isn’t the first time that the NHS has done something during the holiday season.
“The last few years NHS has chosen a charity to support and members have collected items for donation,” Brest said.
Typically, donated non-perishable items would be collected in a class competition, but due to remote learning, all organization and communication had to be done virtually.
“We have a Google Classroom for the students who are donating the canned goods,” Toong said.
Student Council is also involved in giving back to families in need by hosting a gift card drive for North families in conjunction with the T.I.N. Cup fund. So far, over $1,500 in gift cards and donations have been raised.
“We are inviting both student council members and members of other clubs to participate in this competition and donate gas/restaurant/grocery gift cards,” secretary junior Emma Blair said.
In total, with the help of a few other clubs, the student council raised enough donations to help out 12 area families.
“Between student council and the gift card drive, we raised almost $1,500 in gift cards and donations for the T.I.N. Cup fund,” club sponsor Rachel Hidalgo said.
Each year the Student Council organizes a charity event. Last year they set up a giving tree in the front office.
“Student Council plans to continue being involved in the school and community, during the holidays,” Blar said. “The holiday season is such an important time to help out those families in our community in need.”
Now more than ever, the Student Council plans to continue helping out in the community for every holiday season.
“My hope is to have StuCo [student council] continue to support the T.I.N. Cup fund in the future,” Hidalgo said.
The Acts of Random Kindness Club or ARK has also gotten into the holiday spirit. ARK has partnered with the UNICEF Club to make holiday cards for medical staff and patients at Edward Hospital.
“Members are also donating candy canes and K-cups with messages of gratitude and encouragement along with the cards,” ARK sponsor Emilie Hatzl said.
This marks the second year that ARK Club has reached out to the community.
“Last year around the holidays we baked cookies to give to firefighters and others around the community,” senior Demi Psyhogios said. “We decorated winter tissue boxes to donate to classrooms at PNHS.”
Just like the Student Council, ARK Club members’ work does not end with the holidays. They plan to continue to help out the community year round.
“We love to spread kindness around our school and community,” Psyhogios said.
Hatzl believes that the members of ARK learn about generosity and how it impacts not only themselves but the community.
“I’m hoping ARK members experience the idea that no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted, that they learn it is helpful to shift to a wider perspective to be able to see the good and there is power when a group comes together with the intention of leading with good,” Hatzl said.