In such chaotic and unpredictable times, many students at Mounds View may believe that the future is out of their hands. Especially with stay-at-home orders and Thanksgiving restrictions, many may have spent more time than usual at home with family. However, some Mounds View students viewed the Thanksgiving holiday season as a time of increased need to give back to the community. Many people in society have been affected by the dire circumstances of the pandemic, and the efforts from these students allowed for our ability to make progress together as a community.
Mounds View Student Council and Mounds View Volunteer Service Club both saw this increased demand to give back, as many student council and VSC members organized and participated in a Winter Clothing Drive over Thanksgiving Break. Mounds View students were given the chance to donate clothes for the nonprofit Sharing and Caring Hands. Given that circumstances had changed due to the pandemic, donations were collected using a donation box outside during school hours in a socially-distant manner. With the drive being a massive success, many student council and VSC members are confident that Mounds View will be able to continue developing different fundraisers to give back in such chaotic times. “Student Council has been very school event-oriented in the past, but with the pandemic, we are trying our best to find new ways to safely engage with our community,” said Mounds View Student Council Co-President Lauryn Jones, 12. “Our purpose has been, and still is, to support all of Mounds View’s students in the best ways possible.”
The collaboration between the student council and VSC also accentuated the tight community Mounds View students have in the face of uncertain times. “Working with student council is beneficial because they have a much larger demographic which is helpful to get the word out,” said Volunteer Club Officer Urvi Athalye, 12. Although Student Council and Volunteer Service Club normally organize fundraisers and drives, the Winter Clothing Drive held special meaning in the clubs’ mission to give back, given the dire circumstances in the world. “[COVID-19] has placed a financial and emotional hardship on so many families, [so] with this clothing drive, if we can alleviate some of that hardship, then we have succeeded,” said Student Council Secretary Mena Feleke, 12.
In addition to the Winter Clothing Drive, some students took time to give back to different communities around the world. Daisy Bai, 11, volunteered at Feed My Starving Children over Thanksgiving Break. Packing food for people in Uganda, Bai was able to help others living across oceans while staying socially distant. “[W]e were to wear a mask all throughout our time there and to wash our hands before and after the session,” said Bai. “Despite all these changes, the general spirit of all the volunteers in the session was just as lively as I remember, and all staff members were just as friendly and helped out wherever they could.” Although Feed My Starving Children is a popular nonprofit organization that Daisy chooses when she spends time helping out, volunteering in such demanding and stressful times brought new meaning to the work she put in. “I think of how much more I’m doing to help the children and families who will receive the food in the midst of the pandemic,” said Bai.
With many different nonprofit organizations continuing to accommodate those in need throughout society, the need for volunteers seems to be more rampant than ever. This spirit of giving back has continued to hold strong throughout Mounds View, as many have seen how serious measures to keep students safe, such as distance-learning, accentuate the dire situation the world is in. The students who participated in the Winter Clothing Drive and volunteered at Feed My Starving Children over Thanksgiving Break recognize the tremendous demand and need for everyone in the community to help each other out even during times with stay-at-home order restrictions. “It can be really overwhelming thinking that donating items or money is the only way to help,” said Mounds View Student Council Co-President Bailey Powell, 12. “But if you look into it, there are countless things that you can do from your own home.”