Interact Club Finds Ways to Serve the Community During the Pandemic

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Greta Stanier

Mary Cate Pugh ’23 volunteering at Crowded Closet

Greta Stanier, Reporter

During the pandemic, City High’s clubs have been faced with many obstacles and challenges. Safety issues regarding COVID-19 have caused clubs to change the way they meet and conduct their activities. 

Interact club, a club devoted to volunteering and community service, has been confronted with the question of how to volunteer in the community and connect with organizations while staying safe.  

“As much as I love doing interactive stuff and being more active, It’s kind of hard to do those things while trying to keep everyone safe,” Melanie Tran-Duong ‘21, one of the leaders of Interact Club, said. “There’s still a pandemic going on, so we don’t want to just get together and volunteer, because I don’t think that would be really helping people as much as it’s hurting people.” 

Many aspects of volunteering and community service have been altered due to the pandemic. 

“Being in person and being able to interact with people that you don’t know has changed,” Ella Fast ‘23, a member of Interact Club said. “For example, before COVID-19, I was able to go to different places, like the animal shelter, and interact with people that I don’t normally talk to, but now it’s a lot harder to interact with those people.”

Interact club has struggled in finding as many opportunities to reach out in the community. 

We do so many group activities, group projects, and we go out into the community, so it has been very difficult to maintain a high level of activity. Many places are no longer offering volunteer opportunities,” Dr. Humston, the advisor of the club said.

Despite these challenges, Interact Club has been making things work. The club meets online every week and has made it possible for both online and hybrid students to participate in their activities. 

“We’ve been sharing ideas of how we can help the community, and staying in touch with each other. It’s important to keep in mind that everybody’s going through different stuff,” Fast said.  

The club has found ways to safely do community service and has enjoyed getting together in small groups, while socially distant. In the fall, the club got together to clean up trash around City High. In the winter, club members individually made fleece tie blankets that were donated to the Crisis center.

 “We have taken some of our activities and divided them up for students to work independently on them. They have done a great job of seeking out opportunities,” Dr. Humston said.

In November, the club set up a canned food drive. However, they were unable to collect many donations due to the fact that ICCSD moved back to a fully online model. The club is planning to extend the drive in the future. 

While collecting donations for the canned food drive, the club found it difficult to reach as many people. 

“The food drive was hard because we were trying to figure out a way that online students would be able to donate as well,” Fast said. “We were trying to figure out how people can drop things off at a certain time or another kind of system.” 

As for Interact Club’s upcoming plans, the club is organizing their annual Matchomatics fundraiser. According to Tran-Duong, the club also hopes to do more small group activities, like another trash cleanup. 

“I feel like we’re just moving as things go, just playing it by ear and moving along with what is happening because it’s kind of hard to predict what will happen in the future” Tran-Duong explained. 

Even though the pandemic has caused issues for Interact Club, their mission of community service has been increasingly important.

  “Volunteering and service [are] so focused on community good,” Dr. Humston said. “I have learned just how much we need to be together and how much we really need community.” 

 As the club continues to help out in the community, its members have learned a lot. 

“Doing your best to help people, especially in times of hardship for the greater community, it’s even more important in times like these,” Fast said.