By Franchesca Gumabon ’17 and Jillian Geist ’17
Charity work is becoming more widespread as students all over the school participate in giving to those in need. Students in clubs like the Red Cross Club and Key Club have become a huge contributing factor to helping the community. Organizations such as Toys for Tots and the Toy Drive, being managed by guidance counselor Ms. Stephanie Gluck, are also helping to give back during the holidays.
Every year, the school participates in the annual Toys for Tots program. This program helps less fortunate children receive presents for Christmas. According to their website, http://www.toysfortots.org, 97% of donations go to their mission of providing toys, books, and other gifts to less fortunate children. A box for donations is located in the main entrance of the building for anyone willing to donate.
Guidance counselor Ms. Stephanie Gluck also runs a toy drive, separate from the Toys for Tots program, during the holidays in memory of the three children of the Hance family. The Hance Family Foundation was created in memory of Emma, Alyson and Katie Hance who lost their lives in a car accident on July 26, 2009. Their website, http://www.hancefamilyfoundation.org, says that their organization promotes self esteem educational programming and the support of children in need.
The reason Ms. Gluck specifically chose this organization was because during superstorm Sandy in 2012 the school community wanted to do something for the holidays. After looking for toy drives in the area they found the Hance Family Foundation Toy Drive; this is the fourth year the school will be holding it. The gifts will be distributed to families in Bronx, Queens and Long Island. The school will be collecting donations in the lobby, but students can hand presents to either Ms. Gluck or Ms. Kendra Lane.
Key Club is the largest and oldest international student led organization, and it revolves around community service. Midwood High School’s Key Club specifically helps the Brooklyn community by participating in different charity walks, as well as other activities. The Key Club participated in the AIDS walk earlier this year. One of their upcoming events is gift wrapping for the Relay for Life American Cancer Society.
Clifford Young ’17 has been an ongoing member of the Key Club since freshman year and holds two leaderships in the club. He participated in the March of Dimes walk in April 2015. Young commented that it was the first time he ever participated in a walk and recalled it be a fun experience.
Key Club member Christine Tsang ’17 said, “Students should consider joining the club because it teaches the members how to use the powers they have inside of them and change the world with it.”
Tsang encourages students to join the club as it’s unlike any other club in the school because members become more like family. She added that the activities the club participate in are very fun and engaging.
The Red Cross Club was recently created in October of 2014 by student Polina Solvoyeva ’17 along with the help of guidance counselor Ms. Sakaina Simon. Solvoyeva actively promotes the club on a facebook page, reminding students participating in the club of opportunities of doing charity work. The Red Cross Club meets every first Wednesday of the month during tenth period.
Those in the Red Cross club participated in walks such as the Breast Cancer Walk earlier this year. Recently, the Key Club participated in the Kidney Walk and also wrote holiday letters for soldiers and veterans. All of their events mainly focus on charity walks, which they try to do at least two or three times a month, and volunteering at soup kitchens.
“I think the club is a lot of fun. We do charity work whilst making friends and having fun,” said Solvoyeva about the club. “Members get to make friends from other schools since we collaborate with others for some Red Cross events. It’s gratifying to know that you were able to make a difference, even if it was small. At the end of the day, what you think is a small act of kindness, can be a big deal for those on the receiving end.”