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Groups lend helping hands to community

By Paula Walter
Members of several teen clubs and local church groups had the opportunity to volunteer their time and talents in a recent community service day. Under the guidance of the A.C.T.I.O.N Coalition, 13 ambitious teenagers made their way to four locations within the county eager to lend some helping hands.
Community service day not only gave teens the opportunity to fulfill club requirements by volunteering their required number of hours, but it also met the specifications of a grant written by the A.C.T.I.O.N. Coalition. The grant stipulates at least 25 percent of Johnson County high school and middle school students participate in community service by the end of a specified period. According to the Search Institute, a leader in providing tools and research to parents and educators to address the demands and challenges in the lives of children and young adults, those who participate in their communities by volunteering are more successful in school and less likely to partake in alcohol or use illegal drugs.
Students belonging to Health Occupation Students of America organization, the Teen Board, Students Against Destructive Decisions and youth from Roan Creek Baptist Church were sent to their assigned locations, armed with mops, brooms and cleaning supplies. Each locale was supervised by adults and included Mary Roark and Angie Dickens of the A.C.T.I.O.N. Coalition, George Triplette and Uriah Fletcher, both teachers at the high school, and Mark Gladden, school resource officer and an employee of the Johnson County’s Sheriff’s Department. Work gloves, safety glasses and cleaning supplies were donated to assist in the students’ endeavors.
At each of the sites, the young volunteers immediately went about the task at hand. Three energetic young women were busy sweeping away debris at the Forge Creek Community Center. Other volunteers at the Johnson County Humane Society were in charge of cleaning out the animal kennels and general upkeep. Students were also busy straightening up the rooms used for emergency training classes that are held in the Department of Human Services building, while another group of volunteers were organizing the donation room at Safe Haven.
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.