Rated E for Everyone

Freshman Aidan Winne Described How He Got Students Involved Through Freshman Connection

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Charlotte Hawes and Katheryn Nachtigal

Senior SHARE executive Lily Ogg and her friends stepped out of the Uplift van and into the snow. Baring the cold the girls handed out hot chocolate to the approaching homeless people. Even in difficult circumstance, the experience was worth it.

At Uplift, volunteers we sort through food and clothes. When homeless people request certain items, the executives are in charge of bringing them what they need. They help to provide food and whatever else they need.

“Uplift was an eye-opening experience to see how many homeless people they are, what their lives look like and how grateful they are for everything,” senior Adam Jolles said.

The executives worked to get more students involved in the program. More students had been coming up with their own ideas for projects, so people could volunteer with issues that sparked their certain interests. They continued with events like Mr. Cansas, so that people could show up and see what SHARE was all about. 

“I think it’s the thing where like if people don’t get involved there’s no point,” Ogg said. “What we’re trying to do is help the community and it’s a lot to do, so we need people to join.”

Besides trying to expand their entire program, the executives worked alongside the six freshmen connection leaders to expand the freshmen who were involving themselves with SHARE. 

“At the beginning of the year, it was really hard to get freshman involved,” said freshman Aiden Winne. “Once we started getting into it, it got a lot easier.”

The underclassmen tried to integrate themselves into bigger projects, but spent the majority of their volunteer time working on their own projects. They worked on projects like making gingerbread houses and working with fosteradopt.org. 

The freshman worked with fosteradopt.org, an organization that helped to find kids adoption or foster families and give them a safe home to live in. The program helps to give kids new clothes, food, and presents around the holiday. This year the leaders helped collect donations for fosteradopt.org at an East basketball tournament, ensuring that kids would get presents for Christmas.

We’ve been trying to do fun projects, because a lot of the projects you have to drive to. We do projects just as close to home as possible because parents don’t want to drive too far,” said freshman Aiden Winne. “We try to do fun stuff. We don’t try to do the boring stuff where you just sit around and stuff. We try to get active.”

As the year continued on, the executives continued to make improvements to the program. They continued to get to know each other better and make changes so that the program would run smoother.

“There’s that stage of awkwardness at the beginning of the year, when we’re new and we’re not sure what we’re doing,” Jolles said. “Now, we’ve got the hang of it and we’re not having a lot of problems. We can figure things our for ourselves.”

Their work towards expanding the program seemed to be working, with the rate of participation on Senior Service Day jumping from 84% to 87%. 

“It doesn’t seem like a lot, but we’re kind of just trying to increase a little bit from last year,” Jolles said. “We’re just slowly improving everything that we’re doing.”