Photo by Olivia De'Ath
The holiday season is often seen as a time of giving. It can be easy to focus on the gift exchanges between friends and family and forget about others whose holiday seasons are not as cheerful. While many in the country are caught in the shopping craze, there is another part of the country that focuses on giving back to those who are less fortunate.
RHS houses many organizations such as Key Club, Student Government Association (SGA) and National Honor Society (NHS) that provide students with the opportunity to give back through various fundraisers and donation collections.
Key Club is an international organization that provides students with opportunities to serve, build character and develop leadership, according to their website. The RHS members of Key Club go beyond just fundraising for organizations and help the immediate Rockville community. Specifically, the club has made sandwiches and delivered them to local homeless shelters.
“There are a lot of people in our community that aren’t as fortunate as some [students] and it’s important that we acknowledge that and give what we can when needed,” senior Key Club president Emily Weerasinghe said.
Joining a club is not the only way for students to give back. The SGA and NHS are hosting a toy drive for the holiday season, open to all student donations of new and unwrapped toys. Donations are collected outside the counseling office and will be donated to the City of Rockville.
There are also ways for RHS students to give back that are not directly through school. The Montgomery County Volunteer Center (MCVC) offers over 20 different “holiday help” opportunities that are open to people of all ages and include activities such as gift wrapping and “adopting families” to provide presents with. Volunteering through MCVC also provides Student Service Learning (SSL) hours.
If none of the “holiday help” opportunities are fitting, MCVC also provides 17 different nonprofit organizations and government agencies that students can donate to.
“Many organizations based in our area offer easy and meaningful ways to make financial contributions,” according to the MCVC website.
Many local homeless shelters, which can be found on the MCVC website, offer many ways to help those in need. Specific information from each shelter can be found on their respective websites.
Senior Drew Latos volunteers at the Home Builders Care Assessment Center Men’s Emergency Shelter bimonthly and has found the importance of giving back to his community though serving meals there.
“Volunteering is important to me because I grew up very fortunate and I feel I should give back to others who are not as fortunate,” Latos said. “There is always someone in the world that has it worse than you and helping others makes you a better person and the world a better place.”