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Students support local efforts to help needy in their school and community

Students help those in need during the holidays.

During the holiday season, high school students were engaged in giving back to the community, both inside and outside the classroom.

While the innate desire to help others in need is present among many, the constraint of limited resources often hinders some of these aspirations. However, for some teens, charitable acts come in diverse, and occasionally unconventional forms.

Kylie Watson, a senior at Cosumnes Oaks High School, turned to the arts during the holidays to give back to her community. 

“My Vocal Ensemble class went caroling to multiple classrooms around campus the week before winter break,” she said. “I think a lot of people overlook the arts and its effect on the community, but even a small gesture can cause positive change in the community. I love going into the classrooms and seeing the smiles on the students’ and teachers’ faces.”

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Hayden Liu, the president of Cosumnes Oaks’ Key Club, said she leads her club members throughout the year in “serving the community while embodying student leadership,”

Key Club engages in various service initiatives, events, and fundraising activities. It makes significant contributions to charitable causes like the Kiwanis Cal-Nev-Ha’s pediatric trauma program that works to decrease the impact of trauma on children, regardless of its nature or magnitude. Key Club also supports the “Yes Initiative” (Youth Education Support), which strives to provide financial support to the children of the Cal-Nev-Ha children’s fund.

“Giving back to the community is extremely important to express gratitude and spread the support, awareness, and love.” said Liu.

Lorraine Bambalan, president of Cosumnes Oaks’ UNICEF, said her club focuses on combining crafting and creativity in its charitable activities. 

“Cosumnes Oaks’ UNICEF is dedicated to giving back to the less fortunate,” Bambalan said, “and the holiday season grants us with an abundance of opportunities to do so.”

Bambalan highlighted one such opportunity

“This December, we worked on making bracelets for Looms for Love, which is a non-profit children’s charity,” she said. “During the meeting, we made bracelets which will be sent to children currently in hospitals. Looms for Love…and other creativity-based  charities, not only provides a wonderful opportunity for community bonding but also offers a simple and impactful way to give back.”

For Sarah Gray, a junior at Cosumnes Oaks, community service often involves direct interaction and personalized efforts.

“What my family did was get a gift for a student at my dad’s school,” she said. “He was given a student’s request of something they wanted for Christmas. It’s a Title 1 school, meaning they’re often less privileged kids, and kids who live in poorer areas.

“My dad was given the student’s request and my mom and I went shopping for the student to get him exactly what he wanted, which was a winter jacket in a specific size and color.” 

Gray emphasized that efforts to give back shouldn’t be limited to the holidays.

“It’s important,” she said, “to support the community even if it isn’t a holiday season.”

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Jordan Hanson
Jordan Hanson, Reporter
I'm Jordan Hanson, a senior at Cosumnes Oaks High School. Outside of class, I enjoy writing poetry and short stories as well as playing guitar and piano. One of my favorite activities is playing my electric guitar and singing classic rock with a band. I'm interested in exploring journalism as a way to channel my creativity and writing skills.
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