Building a Legacy: SHARE 2017

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Hazel McLain

Stories of days in the military and building houses captivate senior Caroline Heitmann as she dances with a resident at the annual Brighton Gardens’ Harvest Ball. After hearing what he has to share, Heitmann realized being able to serve her community was something she wouldn’t give up for anything.  

Heitmann only actually started to become involved in SHARE projects her junior year, but once she did, she realized what she had been missing. As the chair of three projects, Heitmann split her time between the Overrun for Ovarian Cancer, Brighton Gardens, and the Children’s Place project. 

The ability to help people was what motivated Heitmann to participate in the various projects offered through SHARE. Helping with trivia at Brighton Gardens or seeing abused kids get to go trick-or-treating at the Children’s Place was worth more to Heitmann than just boosting her college application. 

“All the projects genuinely sounded fun to me, so I just signed up for as many as I could,” Heitmann said. “Just hearing the stories of people being really benefitted by it made me want to do it all four years.”

Even though she was overloaded with homework, Heitmann still made time to hand out volunteer packets for the Overrun. She still made the time to serve dinner at the Micah Ministry. In college, she would have few volunteer opportunities, so Heitmann wanted to make her last year with SHARE count. 

 

Will Harding (09)

By the time freshman Will Harding sets aside his last graham cracker and chocolate milk carton gingerbread houses, he and his friends have made close to a thousand. These houses would be sent to kids as a fun holiday project. Working to make them was a part of Harding’s SHARE project and he wanted to do the best he could. 

Before Harding entered high school, Krissie Wiggins, the SHARE coordinator, reached out to him and five others via text for the Freshmen Connection project. Their goal was to then reach out to other freshmen and get them engaged within the organization. 

“It feels good to give back to the community and help people out who don’t have the same opportunities as some of us do,” Harding said.

Through various group chats, Harding persuaded other students in his grade to come out to SHARE events specifically for them. He hyped up events like the three on three basketball game to raise socks and underwear for those who couldn’t afford it. 

Harding didn’t participate in service only through SHARE. When visiting his grandparents in Dodge City for Thanksgiving, Harding volunteered at a soup kitchen. He wanted to stay involved in service, however he could. 

With siblings that had already attended East, Harding was no stranger to the school. Because of that advantage, he was able to focus on influencing his peers and the community, instead of struggling to find where his English class was. Harding dedicated himself to helping those who needed it.