OHS students give back to community


Photo courtesy of Swayze Elliott

Senior Swayze Elliott sits among cans that she collected for a neighborhood food pantry drive.

Eve Gershon, Staff Writer

Martin Luther King Jr. Day marks the National Day of Service, and although that date has come to pass, OHS students continue to look for new ways to volunteer in their community.

“I think community service is a big idea because the community has helped raise high school students,” said senior and Beta Club president Ansley Byars. “I think an important way to show them that you’re thankful is to give back by helping them out, community service, and other things.”

The Beta Club is geared toward community service and helping others in their times of need. OHS has many other community service focused clubs including the Anchor Club and the Key Club. These clubs along with students who volunteer by themselves are all working towards helping out as many people as they can.

“Community service brings people together as people come to volunteer for their community,” said junior and president-elect of the Anchor Club, Joanna Bu. “It also gives people a chance to make a difference that matters.”

Key Club sponsor, Kimberly Austin, believes that it is important to help others for many reasons, but those needing a bit more motivation should consider karma.

“At any given time, someone always needs help, and it could be you,” Austin said. If you put good out into the world, it comes back to you, so if they learn to help others at their time of need, maybe somebody will be willing to help them.”

Key Club president and senior Swayze Elliot agrees that helping out is very important to benefitting society. She has and continues to provide many services for the community including helping out at More Than a Meal and conducting a neighborhood pantry drive.

“It opens up your perspective when you volunteer in your community and gets you involved,” Elliot said. “You get to come together with other people of your community, and you really you give your time and look at your community over yourself.”

Byars is also making sure to get her community service hours in through taking care of those who cannot always take care of themselves.

“I really like volunteering at the North Mississippi Regional Center, which is for people who have mental disorders and maybe their families can’t help take care of them, or they don’t have any family members left,” Byars said. “One big thing there is they have this shop, and they make seasonal or holiday decorations, and it’s fun to get to volunteer with the clients there and just help them with their crafts and just be able to interact with them.”

No matter the form of service, Austin believes that students volunteering today helps mold them into the giving people they can become.

“It is important for students to learn as young adults how to be contributing members of society, so that when they grow up, they can help others,” Austin said.