This week, Charity Week kicked off with three lunchfests to feature community service opportunities both at University High School (UHS) and in the local community. Various community service organizations came to UHS to share their initiatives.
On Tuesday, the Service Club Showcase featured UHS’ numerous community service clubs. About twenty different clubs participated to inform students about the community service opportunities the clubs had to offer. It was particularly helpful for students who want to get involved with on-campus service clubs but did not know where to start.
The highlight of Charity Week was the Count Me In For My Community lunchfest on Wednesday. Twenty-one regional organizations participated to connect students with off-campus community service opportunities. Although the event was moved from the Crossroads to the gym due to poor weather, the lunchfest was still a huge success. “I was initially worried that moving it to the gym might cause us to lose our visibility or reduce the professionalism of the event, but representatives from every organization said they were thrilled with the number of students,” said Service Project Commissioner Gopal Vashishtha (Jr.).
Both IUSD Superintendent Terry Walker and City of Irvine Community Services Commissioner Melissa Fox attended the event and spoke about the benefits of community service. Most of the organizations featured at the event said that they would love to return next year, including the Susan G. Komen Foundation and With My Own Two Hands, neither of which had been featured at UHS in previous years.
“I think the lunchfest was an effective way to inform students about community service opportunities. It was well organized and went smoothly and it was really easy to access all the speakers,” said Heidi Chen (So).
On Thursday, the PB & J Day lunchfest concluded Charity Week. Students from clubs such as Jewish Student Union and Access Christian Club, in addition to other students, collaborated to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the homeless. The sandwiches were donated to the Someone Cares Soup Kitchen in Costa Mesa for distribution.
Community service benefits both students and the community. With the amount of variety presented at both showcases this past week, it is easy for students to find a way of giving back to the community that they feel passionate about. “Doing community service just makes you feel awesome,” Vashishtha said. “From treating your family with love, to opening a door for someone in a wheelchair, to serving hot meals to the homeless–most of the worthwhile things in life are those that boil down to community service. DO IT.”
By ELYSIA OUYANG