The Helping Hands Club embodies solicitude, assistance and indulgence in all ways capable

The Helping Hands Club embodies solicitude, assistance and indulgence in all ways capable

For Senior Taylor Baumgardner, kindness is everything.

She often recalls some of the best moments where kindness outshines all; one prominent memory is from over the summer when her favorite club had a great opportunity to help out the needy.

“We spent time grilling out hotdogs for the less fortunate at Heartside park,” Taylor said. “It is our annual hotdog cookout, and it continues to have a great turnout every year.”

This is what the Helping Hands Club is all about.

The Helping Hands Club is entering its third year of existence. The central goal is to assist people in need through organizations at school and outside of school. Simply, the whole purpose of the club is to complete deeds that will benefit the less fortunate. 

“We do a lot of work with people in need of food, clothing, and shelter,” second-year member senior Whitney Currie said, “and [we] work with organizations like The Soup Kitchen. We pick up any activities that could help someone out.”

Taylor takes pride in knowing she contributed to the creation of the Helping Hands Club along with some teachers who are passionate about benefiting others. 

“The club started as a loose training of volunteer events,” Taylor said, “until [Principal Steve] Passinault, [Lori] Martin, a few since graduated students and I put our heads together and made it official.”

This developed club is very interactive and, to put it simply, makes others smile. For some people, that’s the only smile they get all day. Senior Dallas Hopson joined the club just this year and has yet still not failed to lend a helping hand in today’s society. 

“I enjoy this club because I enjoy making a difference in my community,” Dallas said. “I was lucky enough to be born without any financial issues, so it feels right to give back to people in less fortunate situations.”

The Helping Hands Club doesn’t just help others but also creates cherished memories as well for the club members. Some major memories in particular stand out to Whitney, one being from recently over the summer.

“We did an activity where we had a cookout in a park downtown,” Whitney said, “and we got to talk and give food, snacks, and drinks to some of the people that are mostly homeless or in need of shelter on a daily basis.”

The second memorable moment that gives Whitney a wave of happiness whenever she remembers it is when they hosted a bingo night.

“Also, we got to go host bingo night during an open dinner for people who cannot afford dinner,” Whitney said. “[We also got to] bring them hot fudge sundaes and just bring a little extra joy during the holidays.”

Unfortunately, COVID-19 has negatively affected the acts within the club, although not hugely. 

They cannot do as many in-person activities as they normally would due to prioritizing their safety; however, they still manage to find many ways to continue helping the community.

“We can’t have meetings in person,” Whitney said. “Our activities are now more so focused on helping others through non-contact ways, like coloring bags for Kids Food Basket or writing notes for people currently in hospice care that cannot see their family.”

The Helping Hands Club used to have the privilege of meeting in person at school, but then, of course, a pandemic hit. Due to that, they’ve had no choice but to improvise.

“Right now, we are having monthly meetings,” Whitney said. “Usually it’s on a Monday night at 8 PM and over Zoom. We discuss future projects we want to get involved in, recap on how some of our activities went, how we can get more people involved, and what’s coming up.”

Despite the minor inconveniences caused by COVID-19, that doesn’t change the overall drive of the club. It’s the one club in school that is truly based upon the joy of others. Because of that and many other reasons, Dallas was sure he wanted to join this year.

“This year was the first time I had heard of the club, and it just sounded fun,” Dallas said. “I saw the advertisement on FX, and Taylor talked in class about it, so I just told her I wanted to join, and she sent me an email.”

Joining this important club is incredibly easy. As many members as possible are wanted at all times, and all it takes is an email. Whitney discovered the club the same way as Dallas did—through Taylor. 

“I was talking with Taylor about going to one of the first activities in the summer,” Whitney said, “and she said it was super fun and a great way to help others, so I decided to join.” 

With Taylor as the main source of communication, she makes sure to always stay in touch with the members and to always work to the best of her extent to improve the inner workings of the club in any way.

“It is a super flexible club that you can be a part of even if you have a busy schedule,” Taylor said. “Plus, it is very eye-opening by bringing you to parts of the community not many of us have experienced before.” 

Like Taylor, Dallas deeply advises and recommends students to join this club—especially if a passion lies within boosting others.  

“Students should join this club if they truly care about making a difference in their community or if they have lots of free time,” Dallas said.

With Dallas’ words of encouragement, this club is in need of new members. Freshmen or seniors, it doesn’t matter, participation is essential for the success of the Helping Hands Club. Especially with the majority of the members being seniors this year, underclassmen are needed so that authority can be passed down in future years. 

“The club needs some good leadership going into next year as many seniors are leaving,” Taylor said, “so if you’re an underclassman looking to be a part of something bigger, [the Helping Hands Club] would be a great opportunity to take lead.”