Outreach Clubs Sparks Hope Through Volunteering

Holly Williams, Staff Writer

Animals, drug prevention and recycling don’t seem like they have much in common, but they are all the focuses of student outreach groups who continued to help those in need during COVID-19. 

Senior Emma Krumm, co-president of Environmental Club, exudes pride about all the club has accomplished given the challenges of meeting this year. The club volunteered at multiple Restoration Days at the Watershed Nature Center, collected the school’s recycling and cleaned up the highway ditches with the Illinois Department of Transportation.

The clubs members met on two separate Saturday mornings to rehabilitate the nature preserve.

“On the first restoration day, we helped to clear the area of invasive weeds and to plant a rain garden,” Krumm said. “At the [second] restoration day, we were helping to remove winter creepers and another invasive plant species from the area.”

Those Saturdays were a break from the usual Zoom meetings and recycling days.

Animal Rescue Club, which was usually highly active at animal shelters also depended on these virtual meetings to brainstorm ways to help although they couldn’t visit this year. 

Senior Jessica Pool who’s president of the 14-member club said one of their ideas was to create a school donation collection box.

“Our donations go to local shelters,” Pool said. “The main ones are Partners4Pets, Metro East Humane Society and Hope Animal Rescue.”

Even with limited volunteer events, the group made a financial impact for these shelters.

While not financially impacting the community, Edwardsville Peer Influence Club (EPIC), has helped provide food for the community and social events for students. 

On EPIC council junior Caley Hitt and the other nine leaders collected food for Thanksgiving baskets, planned student spirit weeks and provided hand sanitizers for EHS. 

Despite all of the limitations the year put on these volunteered based groups, each one has found its own way to impact the community. 

According to Hitt, “I think volunteering helps people feel good about themselves and always has a good result, giving people the extra push to keep going.”