Charity month adjusted to adhere to COVID-19 restrictions

Student Council is holding its annual charity month fundraising events in an adjusted form due to COVID-19’s restrictions.

Student Council events chair and junior Quinn Hall explained that charity month is a collection of events conducted yearly by the group in which various fundraisers are held to raise money.

Three events are being held: a food drive to collect canned goods that will be donated to the Broad Street Food Pantry, a candy gram sale, and a local business gift card raffle, Hall said. Money raised from the sale of candy grams and gift cards will go to Charity Newsies, he added.

Student Council adviser Michael Featherstone explained that Student Council was looking for fundraisers that were new and could be done during a pandemic.

“The food drive seemed helpful and something that we could do during this time for those that were struggling,” he said.

Featherstone noted that one of the main issues that the Student Council has faced is the timing of the event: charity month is traditionally held in November, in conjunction with Clash of the Classes. He explained that after the school’s return to remote learning in November, the Student Council decided to move the beginning of the fundraiser to February and have it end in mid-March.

“Just like school, everything is a little more challenging,” he said. “It takes a little more time, a little more thought, a little more effort. This is a good learning experience for the students.”

To proceed safely, Featherstone noted that the Student Council has altered its typical events in order to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines and ensure the safety of participants. Dropping canned goods off into collection boxes in classrooms and distributing candy grams in first period classes are both ways in which the Student Council has planned on reducing exposure, he explained.

“The idea is to minimize contact and make it safe,” Featherstone said.

However, even with the difficulties the pandemic has created, it has also presented new opportunities, Featherstone added. He said that the food drive and candy grams are new fundraisers not typically held for charity month.

“Maybe [the pandemic] will get us thinking outside of the box…about what else we can do other than the things before,” he explained.

Ma said that the motivation to hold charity month is to raise funds and awareness for those in need, the same goal as it has been in past years. He also noted how COVID-19’s presence in the United States this past year has exacerbated the need for awareness and fundraising for those who have been affected by the pandemic.

“We hope our school and community will not forget about those in need during this unprecedented time and preserve our tradition of giving back to the community,” Ma said.