Jackson students find key to helping others Club projects include children’s story hour and toy drive

Staff Writer

By cindy tietjen

Jackson students find
key to helping others
Club projects include
children’s story hour
and toy drive

JACKSON — These volunteers have held coat drives for the Salvation Army, raised money for Providence House and Harbor House, some of them even before they have earned the right to drive a car.

The volunteers of the Jackson Memorial High School Key Club are dedicated students who devote many hours a year to various charitable organizations in the area.

Binh Ha, 17, a junior at the high school, was drawn to the Key Club because of the charity work. Ha said that while membership in the Key Club will look good on her college transcripts, the idea of volunteering for the community was what drew her to the club.

"I have other activities that I could consider good for my college transcripts, like the National Honor Society," said Ha. "I looked at a lot of clubs, but none of them were really doing any kind of charity work. Then I saw that Key Club was doing all sorts of projects for the community, and I was really interested in joining."

Ha was the secretary of the Key Club last year and successfully ran for vice president this year.

Key Club members meet every other week after school to discuss various projects. The club consists of about 50 students of all grade levels. Pam Hellman serves as the faculty adviser.

The president of the Key Club is Megan Milos, a senior. According to Ha, Milos sets the agenda and generally runs the meetings. All decisions are voted on by the entire group.

"Being a member of Key Club is a great way to get to know people from your school and from all over the country," said Ha. "Every year there is a nationwide convention that we are invited to."

Ha said while she did not attend last year’s conference in Washington, D.C., she would like to attend this year’s conference in California.

Applications to join Key Club are available in Hellman’s room. Members will be required to earn a minimum of 10 points in order to stay an active member. Points are earned by participating in various projects.

"We are trying to get rid of our non-active members, so by asking everyone to earn 10 points we are trying to keep all of our members active," said Ha.

There are a number of different activities for members to participate in. In the Read and Lead program, members of the Key Club are present at the library on Saturday mornings from 10:30 a.m. to noon to have a story hour with children.

The first Read and Lead program was Saturday, but, according to Ha, the turnout was not as good as everyone had hoped.

"I don’t think we had enough publicity," said Ha, "but we are definitely planning on continuing the project."

The Key Club is also planning on approaching local toy stores for donations to their toy drive.

According to Ha, the toy drive is one of the club’s biggest events because it is a district project.

"We want to collect as many toys or as much money as we can for this project," Ha said.

Students of any age and grade level are invited to join the Key Club.

"The Key Club is a great way to be involved in the community," said Ha. "There are a lot of great clubs at school, but sometimes you just need to do a little bit more, and this is a great way to do that."