This year, hundreds of students participated in the three major charity clubs of the school: March of Dimes, Relay for Life, and Red Cross.
“The goal of the Red Cross Club is to provide students with volunteer opportunities to benefit our community. We work with the American Red Cross of Central New Jersey to respond to local, national, and international issues,” said president and junior Victoria Xu.
The Red Cross club completed their goal by both fundraising money and holding blood drives, while holding many smaller events throughout the community. “This school year, the Red Cross club had two very successful blood drives, in which we were able to collect 92 and 93 productive units of blood,” Xu said.
“We also held community outreach programs to after school kids at Maurice Hawk, including events like Halloween Safety, FACT (First Aid for Children Today), and WHALE Tales,” she continued.
Along with these events, the members of the Red Cross club also fundraised money by selling lollipops throughout the school. “Our club members sold around 3,330 lollipops, which amounts to $1,665,” Xu said.
This money was donated to the the local chapter and Central Jersey chapter of the American Red Cross, who also donated part of the money to a Nepal disaster relief fund.
For next year, Xu “really just hope(s) to maintain and add to such a dedicated and vibrant group of volunteers. Our club members always surprise me with their enthusiasm towards helping the community, and I hope we can uphold that sense of passion in the upcoming year,” Xu said.
Similar to the Red Cross club, the March of Dimes club worked with separate chapters to bolster the success of the cause.
“The mission of the March of Dimes is to help prevent birth defects while also researching the problems that threaten the lives of infants,” said president and senior Jinay Amin.
On a school level, the members of the club worked on raising awareness for the cause. “One of the primary objectives of the school club is to spread the mission among fellow students while also promoting members to speak out to family and friends in order to obtain donations for the organization,” Amin said.
Alongside raising awareness, the members of the club helped set up a school event to benefit research funds. “The school club hosted Mr. South as it has done for a myriad of years now,” Amin said.
On a regional level, the members of the club worked with members of other chapters to set up a successful community event. “Outside of school, an assortment of club members helped out in organizing a multicultural gala event known as Rangeela which has always been a sold out show for many years now,” Amin said.
“Including the profits from shows such as Rangeela, Mr. South, and other smaller fundraisers, the club has raised upwards of $85,000,” he continued.
As he is headed to college, Amin has already helped set up a plan for club expansion. “The club will indefinitely expand as a multitude of students have requested information to join in the 2015-2016 school year. The club also has plans to host more events throughout the year in order to further profits for the cause as well as spread the mission within the community,” he said.
Though not part of a regional group, the Relay for Life club worked closely with the chapter at North to set up their year of fundraising.
“[Relay for Life] is based on raising money and awareness for the fight against cancer and focuses on "celebrate, remember, fight back." Within our community, the goal is to come together and show our support and empower those affected by cancer,” co-chairman and senior Arushi Patel said.
Similar to what is set up every year, the committee of the Relay for Life club helped set up three traditional events to accomplish their goal. “These events include Relay Idol, the Student-Faculty Volleyball Tournament and the Final Event-Relay Around the World. Additionally, we held school-wide meetings, including the Kickoff, during lunch to get students interested in Relay for Life,” Patel said.
Unlike the individual-member structure of many other clubs, Relay for Life has a student-team based structure. These teams participate in their own fundraising, along with helping with club-wide events.
“Teams of the club also organized fundraisers with restaurants such as Jimmy Johns and Red Berry,” Patel said.
With the achievement of this year’s goals, Patel hopes that “the club continues to grow and spread awareness for cancer,” she said.
Ultimately, the work of the students led to fundraising of over $100,000 and the increased awareness of many important causes.
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