Teens spread holiday cheer
Coming together during the holidays and making a difference in someone else's life are values that most high school students know nothing of. Still trapped in the childish mindset that Christmas is all about the presents you receive, giving back during the holidays simply slips through the minds of many high school kids.
However, the California Scholarship Federation chapter at Sutter Union High School begged to differ this holiday season.
Most people know CSF as being a club in which you must keep up good grades to receive a scholarship at the end of your high school career. This is true. But what most don't know is that CSF's motto is "Scholarship for Service" — community service, that is.
Our chapter works very hard to live up to that standard and give back to our community as best we can. This holiday season, one of our service projects included a chapter-wide gathering in which we created Christmas cards with words of hope and kindness in them. These cards were to be delivered to patients who would be spending their holiday at Rideout Medical Center.
As president of our CSF chapter, words cannot express the thanks and pride that I feel when I speak about the efforts put forth by our members. Kids came in during their lunch hour and helped create the Christmas cards, all while smiling and talking about how excited they were to be making cards for those who probably wouldn't have a great Christmas.
It makes community service all the more valuable when the volunteers are passionate about what they are doing. These kids truly wanted to help and make a difference.
"It was so great to see the turnout we had for the Christmas card service project," said Sutter CSF secretary Christy Robertson. "With so many actively participating, we were able to make over a hundred cards with ease."
After cards were made, our officer team went to Rideout on Christmas Eve to deliver them and to spread some holiday cheer. With our red sack of cards in tow, we made our way through the halls, room after room, handing them out and chatting with the patients.
Many were touched by the cards and were unable to express their gratitude verbally, but the smiles and even tears that our gesture brought on were indescribable.
"I can't put into words how grateful the patients were," said Franklin Tarke, Sutter CSF treasurer. "It really made their Christmas to know that someone was thinking of them."
Around the holidays, it is very easy for teenagers to feel a little selfish. School is out, Christmas is coming and you have two weeks of glorious vacation. Naturally, sleeping in, hanging out with friends and having fun are at the top of your priority list.
This may be true of most kids; however, it makes me extremely proud to say that members of the Sutter Union High School CSF chapter make positive words and kind actions their priority.
Bianca Almeida is a senior at Sutter Union High School. Her column appears every six weeks in Education.