CLINTON COUNTY — Students today are busier than ever juggling schedules filled with academic, athletic, artistic and personal commitments to family, school and employers.
Sometimes it seems there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish all the things students want and need to do. But something for which Clinton County students are well-known is their sense of community and making time to give back to the communities that support them. And during the winter months and holiday season, students step up even more in an effort to make a difference in their communities and around the world.
For the last several years, students in the Blanchester High School Vocational Agriculture program have worked with students throughout the district to collect canned foods and donations that allow the Glen Thompson Memorial Fund to provide holiday meals to area families.
Faculty and staff work together with members of the community to raise funds that allow Santa to leave bicycles under Christmas trees for local children. Boxes are packed to be sent around the world through Operation Christmas Child, pennies were collected to support the United Way, and coat drives allow children a little extra protection from Old Man Winter.
At Clinton-Massie Local Schools, students and staff work year round to fill the shelves of the food pantry that supports families through difficult times. Members of the Junior National Honor Society sponsor a winter clothing drive and collect coats, hats, gloves, and scarves for the homeless shelter.
Class projects allowed students to shop for food they then donated to Your Father’s Kitchen where CM football players were on hand to help distribute Thanksgiving meals. Key Club members rallied to collect food donations for the Clinton County Homeless Shelter, and even more pennies were collected for the United Way.
At East Clinton School Local Schools, the Future Farmers of America (FFA) sponsor a Toys for Tots collection and food drive, and the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) organize an Operation Christmas Child shoebox collection.
Elementary students participate in the “Kids Care Club” and are joined by students and staff throughout the district who work to collect winter coats that will be a necessity when temperatures begin to drop.
Students at Wilmington High School are busy with the White Gift Campaign that will continue the more than 40-year tradition of providing holiday meals throughout the community. Elementary students collected more than 200 pairs of socks that will be donated to the homeless shelter and no doubt come in handy in preventing frost bite.
WMS’ student council collects food for Our Father’s Kitchen, and the “Holy Hurricanes,” students from one of WMS’s mini clubs, joined forces with the Hope Factory and served at “Hands Against Hunger” packing meals for children in need living in Haiti.
Even amidst the hustle and bustle — classes, homework, practices, jobs and time spent with family, the students of Clinton County have not lost sight of what’s important: Giving back and making a difference in the lives of others.
Information for this article was provided by Diana Miller, who coordinates communications for several area schools.