Editor-In-Chief Sagun Shrestha talks with social studies teacher Kimberly Moore about charity during the holiday season and how the need for giving back to the community has heightened since the pandemic hit.
Sagun Shrestha: Hi, I’m Sagun Shrestha and this is the second episode of Coyo-tea for the school year. Today I’m with social studies teacher…
Kimberly Moore: Hello, I’m Kim Moore.
Shrestha: …who is also the sponsor of the Leo Club and Rho Kappa, and we are going to be talking about the holiday season and giving back to the community. To start off, my first question would be, why do you believe that charity and giving back to the community is important?
Moore: Well, you know, I would say that I think all people have something within them that really believes that helping someone else and giving a helping hand is something that is good for our country and just to be a good human being. Oftentimes we think that, what can I do, if anything when it comes to helping someone and there’s definitely people who have more means than others who can give a little bit more or do a little bit more. But there’s always something. Even the small things that a lot of people can help with. So when you live in a community and you want to see your community do better, then it takes you to be a part of that community, and part of that is helping, assisting those who need the help, and when you do that, you get a lot of gratitude and gratification from seeing your community flourish.
Shrestha: I completely agree. And so, what service projects have you been doing with your clubs this year?
Moore: So, this year, as you know, has been really challenging, with the whole lockdown and restrictions because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve been trying to become a little bit more creative. We do like to stick to the same things that we know work and can still transfer over to whether you’re meeting online that you can still help with, but we are also trying to think a little but outside the box, how we can serve the community in that way. I’ve done things where we raise, canned food drive is something that we’ve done, but this time we can’t go around to the classrooms and collect it and ask kids in the building to help support the Leo Club themselves, so instead we just did a donation box where it sits out front in the school and people can come by and do a dropbox. That’s something that’s new for us, but it still works, it’s still helping the community. We also have done the Christmas boxes, our Leo Club has done the Christmas boxes for Samaritan’s purse. You make a care package of sorts for a child in need and then the kids drop the boxes off and I took them to a donation center. We are also trying something new. One of the things that we are trying to do is send a video message to healthcare workers and everything that they’re doing, just to brighten up their day. Sometimes people who think you donate has to be physical and sometimes your donation can just be time. You can just take two minutes or a minute to give a well wished message to someone who has been doing a lot and just needs to hear that. That’s helping your community too. That’s something different for us, a Flipgrid video, video messages that you just send to healthcare workers. My Rho Kappa Honor Society helped to share some information about Veteran’s Day. We don’t want to forget one of our federal, traditional holidays of all our soldiers and veterans who risked their lives in sacrifice for our country. I mean that’s the ultimate volunteerism and giving back to your community. And so we were able to share some information with the school and community about Veteran’s Day. So just little things like that that we’re trying and it’s still new, we’re still in the first semester of school and we have a whole rest of the semester of the school year left and we want to see if we can do some more things to kind of expand it.
Shrestha: How else would you say has the pandemic upped the need for charity? Is there anything else that is specifically different with regards to COVID?
Moore: I mean as far as being specifically different, I think the needs are the same, it’s just the numbers that have grown larger and there is still a need for children and families in the community that need food. There’s still a need for children and families in the community, today’s the first day of winter solstice, who need coats and warm clothes to get them through the winter. There’s still a lot of need that hasn’t changed, but unfortunately due to the pandemic, that need has increased. You know, there’s one more family whose family member has lost their job or one more family that doesn’t have adequate access to the internet and kind of struggling through school. And so those needs have grown larger than what we’re used to and the community is really doing their best. I’m excited and proud that I’m a part of a sponsorship with these clubs and organizations that provide community service, but certainly I am not the only one, there are many clubs within Clarksburg High School, within the Clarksburg community, at the middle school level, even elementary school kids, and other organizations that are really stepping up their game and are trying to help the community and provide more. Ask for more help from those that are more able to give, so that we can serve our community well.
Shrestha: So can you think of any other ways that people can get involved?
Moore: Well, if you are just a student in a school and you want to get involved in helping your community, certainly joining the clubs and organizations that we have, there’s so many within our high school or any high school, there are multiple schools, I am not the only Leo Club chapter that exists and there are other organizations that do fundraising and volunteering and helping the community. But if you want to get outside of your school bubble, certainly there are organizations. I mean, do a simple Google search, you can type in charities, donation charities, or food banks and they’re always looking for volunteers. You just have to follow COVID protocols, you know wear gloves and a mask, social distance. And you can volunteer, you can help. You can also do something yourself. Sometimes when there is a need and you don’t feel as though you can connect with the right organization to do the things that you want to do, start it yourself. There was a, in the spring, a young, I want to say seven year old in Gaithersburg, a young seven year old who decided to just create care packages for himself to donate. He started collecting things from his neighbors,and making actual care packages, and then delivering to people. There are people, young people, who know how to sew masks, and were making masks to give to people. There was a great thing that I saw, I thought was really awesome and creative, was someone who had a hat that was either something that they had bought or maybe something that was used, but they put it in a Ziploc bag and labelled: take it if you need it, and they put it on a bench. We know that there’s homeless people out there. Who knows that next person that found that bench and sees that bag and says ‘oh my god, this is what I needed at this moment.’ So you can join, just do a Google search and find different organizations that you can be a part of that’s already doing things and you donate your time, or you can find something to create on your own. It can just be very simple or really big. All you have to do is ask.
Shrestha: That’s fantastic. And do you personally have any holiday traditions relating to charity?
Moore: Well yeah, I guess my holiday traditions that my family does, one that we do especially with my husband who’s a nurse, we always use the Salvation Army Tree, Christmas tree, where they have names of families and children of need, and we adopt a child. They have their list and we buy everything on the list for them and then donate that to the Salvation Army. We also, through my church, I’m really active in my church even though we don’t meet directly in person, online we are collecting things. We made some care packages for senior citizens that we were able to drive by and drop off at their homes with a mask in it, words of encouragement, notes and things like that, and just some nice goodies and things here and there. And my daughter is a girl scout, but we’re always thinking about ways to give back. We volunteered in a local neighborhood to help hang wreaths in the community. And so, just little things that we do like that, makes me think about all the things I could be doing more of and it makes me feel good that I can give back in that way.
Shrestha: Thank you so much for all your services and is there anything else you would like to add?
Moore: I appreciate being one of the members who gets to be part of your wonderful podcast. I think this is a great thing to do and to be a part of. I feel like I’m on a TV show, calling in on NBC or something, it’s really exciting, so thank you for including me within it. And I wish that everybody who is listening has a wonderful holiday season, healthy holiday season, and that you are washing your hands for twenty seconds, underneath your nails, and you’re wearing your mask and social distancing, so that we can continue to be healthy for those who need help and stop the spread.
Shrestha: Well, thank you so much for coming on my podcast. I think that is the end for today, and I just wanted to wish everyone happy holidays and hope everyone has a great new year. Okay bye!