Students emphasize aiding those in need

Neighbors

July 02, 1998|By Geri Hastings | Geri Hastings,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

WITH SO many negative headlines about teen-agers in the papers these days, it's refreshing to hear about youngsters who are doing positive things.

At River Hill High School, Students Helping Other People, or SHOP, had a terrific year, doubling its membership and completing many projects.

One of the reasons for SHOP's success was the team of hard-working officers. SHOP was guided by President Sarah Johnson, who will attend Washington University in St. Louis this fall on an Eliot Scholarship, and Vice President Regina Lee, who plans to attend Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

Both were named Outstanding Seniors. Their dedication to SHOP helped to earn them the recognition.

Asked why she chose to become involved with SHOP, Sarah replied, "It's important that students give something back to the community. Students in this area have been given so much that they must think of those people who have not had the same opportunities."

SHOP members began the year's activities in November with a teacher vs. student "pig" basketball game that raised more than $1,000 for charity.

Each teacher who played in the game had a bucket set aside with his or her name on it. Students and teachers put money in the bucket of their choice. The teacher whose bucket contained the most money by halftime won the privilege of kissing a pig -- hence the name, "pig basketball."

A tie in donations resulted in two teachers -- Brian Van Deusen (physical education) and Kevin Giffhorn (mathematics) -- getting the "smooch of a lifetime" while the crowd cheered.

SHOP next ran a schoolwide canned food and clothing drive. Items were donated to FISH of Howard County, which provides food, transportation and shelter to those in need.

In December, SHOP members "adopted" a family. More than 50 boxes of toys and new clothing were collected and given to the family during the holiday season.

For Valentine's Day, valentines were stuffed with candy and given to residents of a nursing home.

SHOP members donated more than $250 to help underprivileged students attend college through Oprah's Angel Network.

SHOP completed the school year with a Prom Promise, chaired by senior Kelley Wilson. Prom Promise was a weeklong educational event on the hazards of drinking or using drugs before driving.

SHOP officers for the 1998-1999 school year are senior Heidi Nowack, president; sophomore Emily Johnson, vice president; sophomore Amy Beier, secretary; sophomore Darcy Munshower, historian; and sophomore Kelly McBeth, publicity and recruitment.

Pub Date: 7/02/98

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