Our Turn: Help for the Homeless Overdrive
About a month ago, I had written an Our Turn article regarding the Northwoods Community Secondary School’s participation in the Help for the Homeless drive. In my previous article, I had explained what exactly the Help for the Homeless drive was and how the Northwoods Community Secondary School students would plan and create unique ways to gather donations for the drive.
Having the ability to think of creative ways to accomplish a task in our school is something which is very important. It allows NCSS students to express themselves in their projects and create work processes which keep them motivated and produce great results. For my fellow students and I, we couldn’t miss this opportunity to create something that would benefit a great cause that will help people throughout the state of Wisconsin and give us the chance to project our school’s distinctive culture.
We all had one question; how can we plan something unique which will support this drive, bring enjoyment to others and allow us to express our creativity? After several student discussions, we had thought of hosting a concert which would collect donations for the Help for the Homeless drive. We would call it the Help for the Homeless Overdrive.
Unlike other concerts, in lieu of admission, we requested that each person attending to bring one personal hygiene product. Examples of hygiene products include body wash, toothpaste, shampoo, toilet paper and diapers. After collection, these products would be distributed to crisis agencies and homeless shelters throughout our community.
We began the organization process by securing a site and date which we could host the concert. We had to select a day which fell within the timeframe of the drive’s operation. We also were looking for a day where we could expect the largest attendance possible. We decided that Saturday, March 29 in the Rhinelander High School Library Media Center would be the ideal venue and date.
After confirming the date and location, we then began the process of searching for bands that would donate their time to perform. After more discussion, we decided to contact Jeff Santy of the TuneSmith Academy. The TuneSmith Academy is a music program run by Jeff Santy where he teaches several bands composed of children and young adults how to perform live music. Santy said that he was more than happy to donate his time and help us with our event. Four TuneSmith bands, one of which I am a member, were able to perform. “Never Too Late”, a band featuring Jeff Santy, NCSS instructor John Santy and NCSS student Aaron Sauter were also available to play.
The day of the concert, we had discovered that our efforts were a great success. We had an attendance much greater than we had anticipated of nearly 100 people. It was a fun night of music, socializing and generosity to this worthy cause. At the end of the night, we had collected $577.65 worth of hygiene products.
Our contributions were added to the same pool as all of the donations collected in the North Central Wisconsin area; generating a total of more than $7,000. Throughout the entire state, the Help for the Homeless drive had collected approximately $336,000 worth of hygiene products.
Throughout the entire process of participating in the Help for the Homeless drive, it has taught us several important lessons. It taught us the significance of being a part of a group effort, working collaboratively towards a mutual goal and the importance of helping those in need. As a school, we would like to give our most sincere thanks to everyone that helped support our concert and the Help for the Homeless drive.