Giving back during the holidays

Alex Glaspie, Staff Writer


During the holiday season, and throughout each year, there are many families left without homes, food or sufficient clothes. At RHS, there are many clubs and individuals who are dedicated to volunteering to help out those in need.

The PTSA works throughout Rochester Community Schools to keep giving back by volunteering for various events, such as the Holiday Bazaar or Kris Kringle Market. Each event is significant in creating a powerful atmosphere of kindness for those who need it.

“The RHS PTSA’s main goal is to support students, teachers, and instruction at our building,” member of PTSA and frequent substitute teacher at RHS, Mrs. Martina Alcock said. “In the school itself, we love to help out with whatever task you need us for, [such as] making copies for teachers, raising funds by selling coffee and bagels at the Holiday Bazaar, and any other activities through Social Media to reach our parent community.”

The RHS PTSA President, Debra Jones, works to keep the group of parents, teachers and students staying positive and helping the community in beneficial ways.

“I am proud to be part of a great organization whose mission is to make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children,” Mrs. Jones said. “I am proud to say that I feel I have made a difference in our school community.”

Additionally, Martina Alcock elaborated on her own family’s experience giving back during the holidays.

“For Christmas, my family has started a new tradition. It’s called a reverse Advent Calendar,” Mrs. Alcock said. “Instead of getting little gifts for each day in the Advent, my kids add one non-perishable food item to a box and for Christmas, we donate it to a food pantry.”

Students at RHS also contribute to helping their community by volunteering for clubs, religious purposes and personal gain. Junior Alicia Perkins spoke on how she got into volunteering her freshman year of high school and why it’s so important to her.

I have volunteered for different things throughout my life, but I began regularly volunteering during my freshman year,” Perkins said. “Last year a friend and I put on a special needs basketball game at Rochester. It was really fun and we are planning on doing that again.”

Volunteering is known to give people perspective and provide for life-changing experiences and stories. During the month of October, Mrs. Alcock helped out at a coat drive for ROCKit, an organization that donates clothing to families in need, and in turn, it provided a heart-warming story for her.

“There was one particular little boy who tried about 20 different hats on before finding ‘the one,’” Mrs. Alcock said. “He was too shy to talk but just shook his head until we found the perfect one and his face lit up. Priceless!”

Similarly, during Spring Break of last year, Perkins went to Haiti with her church where she helped the Haitians by providing food, clothes and comfort to those who needed it.

On the last day we went to the village and a bunch of kids came into a church with us,” Perkins said. “We were able to feed them because many of them don’t have a lot of food to eat. One little girl who probably hadn’t eaten in a while took a bite of her food and then gave a bite to someone else. This was so amazing to see because even though she didn’t have much she was still willing to share what she had.”

Both the PTSA and individual students work hard to keep their community thriving by volunteering and helping those around them.

“Generally, any volunteer opportunity fills my heart, but the one at school I loved the most was making S’mores this year with my wonderful friend Mrs. Jones, who is our PTSA president,” Mrs. Alcock said. “The creative and collaborative atmosphere in the building was just fantastic to witness and we were happy to deliver some sweet treats to all.”