The following was submitted by Sophia Dzialo and Spencer Pond, leaders of Hall’s Action Club.
In honor of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., held its first ever "Do Something Week" from January 17-20. This week of community service brought students together during the four lunch periods to answer Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s question: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is what are you doing for others?”
Throughout the week, a variety of clubs and student groups were able to take a stand on issues that matter to them and increase awareness on important social issues as well make a difference in the lives of others through a variety of donated. Each day brought a multitude of opportunities to volunteer without leaving the lunch room. Tables were spread around the cafeteria and as a result, students who might not normally participate were able to partake in a community-focused activity.
On Tuesday, 188 students and staff participated in Red Hand Day sponsored by the Human Rights Coalition by painting a red hand print on a large poster as a statement against child soldiers, and 80 students made “Feel Good” cards for principals of , , , , and to give to students who they see doing something positive sponsored by Link Crew. Also, 40 students made over 80 Valentine cards for gay, lesbian, and transgender teens in a Brooklyn, New York homeless shelter at a table sponsored by the GSA. Students in the global problem solving class demonstrated how difficult accessing water is for so many by having 45 people carrying 40 pounds of water around on their backs.
On Wednesday, students in the global problem solving class sponsored a taste test between bottled water and tap water; over 125 students participated and many signed a pledge to stop drinking bottled water. More than 300 students made turkey and cheese sandwiches that members of Empty Bowls brought to Loaves and Fishes in Hartford. Members of the baseball team spread the word about bringing in used sneakers to be donated to Soles4Souls, and the jazz dancers spread the word about bringing used jeans to be donated to homeless teens through a project sponsored by Aeropostle.
On Thursday, members of the AIDS Awareness Club showed 46 students how to make no-sew fleece pillows and they will bring 42 pillows to AIDS Project Hartford for distribution. One student, Rianna, raised awareness on the issue of human trafficking by asking students to sign a petition against it. Each of the 172 students who signed it received a homemade bracelet with a price tag on it and the statement “I Am Not for Sale.” Also, 43 students made 85 valentines for residents at St. Mary Home which members of the Community Service Club will deliver, and 56 students made more "Feel Good" cards for a two-day total of 200 cards.
On Friday, members of the Future Business Leaders of America Club helped 60 students put together 60 mini-potted plants decorated for Valentine’s Day that will be given to the Farmington Valley VNA to be distributed to their clients. Three students organized writing notes of appreciation for our troops as part of their democracy project for their American government class, and as a result 120 letters will be mailed to our troops. The baseball team collected more 150 pairs of sneakers to be donated and the jazz dancers collected over 100 pairs of jeans for teens.
This week’s project was a huge success. More than 1,500 acts of service took place during the four days. Students and staff alike sensed the positive energy within the building and want to continue to build on this event in the future and to continue to do something to make a difference in the lives of others.