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Making a difference in the face of COVID-19

By Janice Lee and Pavana Upadhyaya Oct. 15, 2020


Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, several students came together during the summer to help assist the community. Two of the school’s service clubs, Key Club and DAWN, conducted in-person volunteer sessions to package meals and donate clothes, respectively.


Every time students answer a question correctly, Freerice donates rice and UNICEF donates money to humanitarian organizations.

For four sessions during June and July, Key Club—a chapter of the service program Key Club International—volunteered with the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) Summer Eats program. The club members packaged and distributed free grab-and-go meals to help feed the youth who regularly rely on schools’ free and reduced lunches. However, to maintain safety and follow COVID-19 guidelines, the volunteers were screened for COVID-19 symptoms prior to the events, practiced social distancing and wore masks.


“The volunteer event was successful; on one day, there were over 80 meals to be distributed. Volunteering in-person was an unique experience, but since the YMCA strictly adhered to social distancing rules, I felt safe,” Sophomore Hillary Nguyen said.


In the future, Key Club plans to attend another in-person volunteer opportunity: Guadalupe Garden’s Beautification Day. At this event, volunteers will plant at the Guadalupe Native Plant Garden. However, since in-person volunteering has health risks, Key Club also plans to host two virtual events: a Freerice event and the U.N. Children’s Fund’s Math For Good challenge. Every time students answer a question correctly, Freerice donates rice and UNICEF donates money to humanitarian organizations.


"...Through this volunteer event, we learned that even during the pandemic, in-person volunteering can be effective and have a tremendous impact on society..."

In addition, DAWN, a student organization that focuses on homelessness, partnered with the Gilroy Compassion Center, an organization that provides support to homeless individuals, to conduct an in-person volunteer event. They collected used clothes from local residents and donated them to the organization’s clothing drive. To minimize the risks of contracting the virus, DAWN decided to pick up donations from donors’ doorsteps. Furthermore, by utilizing Instagram to promote the clothing drive, DAWN donated over 800 clothing items, surpassing their initial goal of 300 articles of clothing.


“We were happy that people donated clothes to the clothing drive. Initially, we were hesitant to work with the Gilroy Compassion Center due to COVID-19, but we decided to contribute to their clothing drive because we wanted to support the community. Through this volunteer event, we learned that even during the pandemic, in-person volunteering can be effective and have a tremendous impact on society,” Junior Karin Liu said.


DAWN also plans to continue their volunteer work this year through in-person and virtual events. Similar to how they donated to Gilroy Compassion Center’s clothing drive, DAWN will also be donating items of clothing to CityTeam—an organization that strives to combat hunger, homelessness, poverty and addiction. They also aim to organize webinars with guest speakers and post infographics on their social media platforms to further educate students and debunk common misconceptions and Courtesy of Key Club stereotypes about homeless individuals.

 

About the Contributors

Janice Lee

Staff Writer


Janice Lee, a senior, is a Staff Writer new to Journalism. Janice likes scouting in various gacha games, taking naps after-school, and reading visual novels.










Pavana Upadhyaya

Staff Writer


Pavana Upadhyaya is a sophomore at Leland High School and is a staff writer. She likes to read nonfiction in her free time.

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