OHS serves the community


Emily Maine

Lincoln Maher and Mrs. Fink run the BBBS raffle booth

Emily Maine, Writer

April means a lot of different things for people. Some associate the month with rain, some with snow and some think of Earth Day. What many do not associate the month of April with is Community Service Month. Various groups, like clubs and churches, incentivize volunteer work for teenagers out in the community. In addition, there are a variety of opportunities that many different people are encouraged to partake in.

Big Brothers-Big Sisters is an organization that many students at OHS take part in. BBBS allows a teenager or young adult to meet with a younger kid facing adversity. These regular meetings allow the kids to form a connection and apply what they have learned from their Big to their life. Junior Tessa Schirmer said, “I am an extra friend to my little. I give her a chance to have fun and work on her social skills when she is with me.” BBBS also has many organized events in the community such as Bowling, Golf and Evening for Kids’ Sake.

I am an extra friend to my little. I give her a chance to have fun and work on her social skills when she is with me.

— Tessa Schirmer

The Steele County Food Shelf provides food for people and families within the community in need. The Food Shelf has set goals to provide an unconditionally supportive environment. They accept non-perishable donations such as cereal, pasta and canned goods, but cash donations allow them to stretch the donation further by buying discounted food, like produce and dairy products. In addition to physical donations, the Food Shelf has volunteer opportunities for anybody wanting to donate their time. Youth Service Leadership teacher Mrs. Pittmann said, “I do have students that volunteer at the Food Shelf and Clothesline.” Information on how to donate and volunteer opportunities can be found on their website at http://steelecountyfoodshelf.org/index.php/services.

Youth Service Learning (YSL) is a great opportunity to get community service hours and help make Owatonna a better place. Pittmann said, “[Students] volunteer as part of the class, and they need to volunteer outside of the class. They are required to do ten volunteer hours outside of school in each quarter.”

Feed My Starving Children, Toys for Tots and other organizations that come to the community occasionally are also great opportunities to volunteer. Elementary schools need volunteers for child care, or any activities the PTO’s put together like carnivals and bingo. High school students are pushed get involved in as many things as possible because community service is a valuable way to spend time, that impacts communities forever. Key Club is a volunteer club at OHS doing exactly that. Schirmer, also Key Club president, said, “Majority of our volunteer opportunities take place in the schools, with the Kiwanis club, and in nursing homes. Although, some students also complete their own service separate from the club’s opportunities.”  YSL and Key Club are perfect opportunities to go out into the community and help the people in it.