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WGHS Interact Club Makes a Difference Locally and Globally
Submitted by Chelsea Talty

Interact is a self-governing and self-supporting non-profit volunteer organization at our school through Rotary International. Interact is designed to develop leadership skills and personal integrity, demonstrate for others, understand the value of individual responsibility and hard work, and advance international understanding and goodwill.  

This year in Interact we have 133 students signed up for the club. Last year we had 129 students signed up, and we ended the year with 91 active members and 1,160 recorded volunteer hours. Right now, we have 665 hours recorded.

Students participate in a series of volunteer events throughout the year. Many organizations throughout our community contact us when they need volunteers, and our students help with anything they need. Some of our best partnerships have been with Lake Farmpark, the Geauga Park District, and even our own Elementary Schools. Annual favorite events are always Halloween Hayrides and the Country Lights Santa Workshop with Lake Farmpark, the Salvation Army Ringing of the Bells, the Senior Citizens Dinner hosted by West G, and the Geauga West Library Mini Golf Fundraiser.

Students have told me many times that they joined Interact because it looks good on a college application or because all their friends joined so they wanted to also. But then they finish that statement with something like "but I never knew how much I would love volunteering!" or "but it means so much more to me than just something on an application now!"

Last year our club started a Global Grant through Rotary International to raise money for the students at a school on the island of St. Thomas after their library was completely destroyed during the hurricane. With the help of other Interact clubs and Rotary clubs throughout our Rotary District, we were able to raise more than $30,000, which was then matched by the grant foundations. In the end, we are sending more than $135,000 to St.Thomas for their library. We hope in the future to be able to send one of our students to St. Thomas for the grand opening of their new library.

Pictured: Jack Musser, Matthew Stewart, Sarah Harbert, Gianna Wagner, Rachel Ange, Mackenzie Hanford, Sabreena Ighneim

 

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