Volunteering not only allows people to give back and help those in need, but it is a way to have fun and bring people together.
One of the many clubs on campus is Key Club, which is dedicated to volunteer work and community service.
Key Club has been at Rio for several years and while much of its volunteer work benefits only Rio and Sacramento County, it does have a global impact.
“Key Club does not only help people in our community, but it also helps people around the world through a program called UNICEF,” said club president Ashley Cook.
UNICEF, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, is a leading program when it comes to helping children in poverty.
One of the club’s events with UNICEF earlier this school year was called Trick Or Treat for UNICEF, when participants on Halloween night would ask for donations while trick or treating.
Each dollar donated went to help mothers and their children in third world countries get free vaccinations for life.
Other events the Key Club is involved in include a March of March on March 2, the Pleasant Grove Walk-a-thon on March 9-10, and a Kiwanis night at the Rivercats game on April 27 which all help to raise money for the
Kiwanis Family House, an organization that provides temporary housing and support for families of seriously ill or injured children and adults being treated at the University of California Davis Medical Center.
In the autumn, the Key Club participated in an event where they painted students thumbs purple if they donated money to help prevent polio in Africa, where the disease is still rampant.
The event was called Pinkies for Polio.
“On average, we try to do around ten events per month,” Cook said.
The planning of these events takes place at the weekly club meetings Thursdays in B-3 at lunch.
“I think it is so important to give back to the community so you can be a productive member of society,” junior Sharan Sohal said.
In addition to having the great feeling of giving back to those in need, volunteering and doing community service has a lot of other advantages.
“I love Key Club because its really interactive and there is a new opportunity every week,” sophomore Haley Street said.
When you volunteer you get to meet a lot of new people, take on new responsibilities, challenge yourself, learn to gain patience and independence, help those who really need it, interact with the community, and have fun.
Volunteer work also helps with schools and jobs.
For example, many scholarships that are available to students have specific requirements such as fulfilling all of their community service hours and various other requirements.
Volunteering also looks good on college applications as colleges like to see that students have a connection with the community and take action to help those in need and is considered an extracurricular activity.
The members of the Key Club have bonded in their time together and relish new opportunities.
“Key Club will continue to be a place where people can have fun and feel good helping others,” club President Cook said.