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How can we earn community service hours this season?


“Community service hours are a time where students spend time doing deeds for the betterment of the community,” said Somer Hogan, counselor. However, the COVID-19 restrictions made it hard for most places to conduct these services. Because of this, the Board of Education waived its community service requirement for graduates this year. Despite that, HRHS still offers students an opportunity to earn community service hours inside and outside of school.

In an effort to provide these opportunities, Gina Bernacchi, librarian, organized two projects to give warmth to homeless people who are living on the streets during the cold weather. 

For the first project, students learn how to knit scarves. “I am happy to show people how to knit. It is pretty easy. So if anyone wants to come in and learn how, they’re welcome to,” said Bernacchi. Materials like yarns and needles are provided for students once they sign-up for it.  

The second project is to crochet strips of plastic bags into sleeping mats for the homeless to put underneath the ground they sleep on. The inspiration came from a project on the internet that turns plastic bags into sleeping mats. “I thought that it would be a great use of these plastic bags rather than putting them in the landfills,” said Bernacchi. You can also donate plastic bags for this project.

Students can do these projects at home or the library. Once they are complete, Bernacchi sends them to her friend that works at the Denver Library and gives them to the homeless. “The outcome hopefully is that lots of different scarves for lots of different people will help people be warmer,” said Bernacchi.

A virtual program related to community service students can enter is the YouthCharge by YouthRoots. Students ages 14-21 will talk about relevant issues seen in the society. They will have the opportunity to raise awareness about a topic and get different organizations that can be a solution to that. The group meets weekly (1 hour sessions) for 19 weeks, and applications for this program are on a rolling basis.

Similar to this is another project called the YouthBoard that addresses the issues found in Douglas County. The goals are similar to the YouthCharge, but the YouthBoard requires students to meet and discuss in person. This program includes 16 two-hour sessions with a total of 60 hours of commitment. The sessions will start from January to May of 2021, and applications for this are open until Dec. 4, 2020.

 “I think we are in an important time in history where you really need to help each other out,” said Yana Bourdelais, counselor. For more community service opportunities, check on this website called “Volunteer Connect,” located in the Community Service Opportunities tab on the counseling homepage. 

Infographic by Francine Palmos

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Francine Palmos, Staff Reporter

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How can we earn community service hours this season?