The National Honors Society (NHS) at East Troy High School has been volunteering with the Gathering for over 15 years, and in the words of student Krystal Jacobs, “We have a great experience every time!” East Troy High is one of many high schools that volunteers with the Gathering, but, unlike many other schools, East Troy students travel over 30 miles to make it to the Gathering’s dinner program. The commute may be limiting for many, but for East Troy National Honors Society students—it is a welcome challenge.
Jacobs explained that in order to transport 15 students to volunteer, they needed to get their own bus. The NHS students rallied together and fundraised to afford the bus. These fundraisers included creative opportunities such as: Duct Tape A Teacher, where students paid for the opportunity to duct tape their teachers to a wall (an idea they found on Pinterest), selling carnations for Valentine’s Day and doing their own version of eharmony for students. The students successfully raised the money to rent a bus and were able to volunteer on February 22nd.
Fifteen NHS members signed up to volunteer. The students cleaned and set up tables, wrapped silverware, prepared food and worked the food line.
“The most meaningful thing, hands down, for all of us, was seeing and hearing how grateful the people were for their meal. There is nowhere else where you can see someone so happy for our volunteer work. Definitely put a smile on our faces as well!”
The NHS members had a great time volunteering. They even adopted nicknames for their fellow students based on what they were serving in line, like Peaches, Cookie, Beans, and Dressing.
The students were especially touched by their interaction with the Gathering’s guests. “We met a guy, Monte. He checked the name on our hats and wanted to be polite and address us by our first names. He was very thankful for what we were doing at The Gathering.”
Like Monte, the Gathering community is also thankful for what East Troy High School and other students do to travel to a meal site and volunteer. We look forward to seeing Peaches, Cookie, Beans, Dressing, Napkins, Coffee, and all other East Troy NHS students when they come volunteer again in March. Who knows, maybe Ed the chef will let us duct tape him to the wall!