Administration, Students Volunteer at Salvation Army

Ashley Ho

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In an effort to help the Salvation Army raise money for the less fortunate, MISD chose 10 days in which staff and students volunteered to help ring the red kettle bell at Walmart, on Walnut Creek Dr., from Nov. 29- Dec. 8.

“Our jobs can sometimes be very time consuming so we are not able to help as much as we want because as soon as we go home, we take care of our next set of kids,” Assistant Principal Miguel Garza said. “I thought this was a great opportunity to get the district involved.”

Money raised during the annual campaign helps provide toys and food for needy families during the holidays, and supports Salvation Army social services and youth programs throughout the year.

“I like the work that they (Salvation Army) do so I’m glad our district and people are supporting organizations like that,” Principal Derrell Douglas said.

Shifts were an hour and 15 minutes.

“I had a little bit of extra time towards the end of the day so I decided to help out,” Garza said. “The time went by really quickly because I begin to have little conversations here and there (so) one minute turns into five which turns into 30.”

Senior Paulina Zuleta volunteered on Dec. 2.

“Even though it was raining, my friend and I showed up and tried to encourage people to donate to this organization,” she said. “Ringing the bell was a lot of fun.”

The district has done this for the past four years, Douglas said

“I’ve always participated so I knew that it was a good experience,” he said. “It’s nice that people are really friendly and happy that you’re there. When you volunteer to go, and do it, you feel an internal reward.”

Garza said he enjoyed talking to strangers walking by.

“I’m a people person,” he said. “I was there by myself and was in a position of greeting people. Some aren’t used to being greeted though.”

Students had to be accompanied by an adult when ringing.

“I volunteered for community service hours but this experience really impacted me,” Zuleta said. “I was glad I got to help raise money so kids can be fed and able to have a present to open on Christmas.”

Singing holiday carols was one way Garza passed the time.

“I was a little disappointed that I wasn’t getting as many donations, as my partners on the other side, so I started to play little jingles with the bells,” he said. “As soon as I started singing, more people started to donate and one person even gave $10.”

Seeing people teach their kids to give was enjoyable, Douglas said.

“I saw parents and grandparents taking money out of their purse or pocket and letting their child put the money in the kettle,” he said. “(By) doing so, parents are spreading the spirit of giving.”

Zuleta said she will be volunteering with the organization again.

She said, “Doing this really got me out of my comfort zone but I realized how important the work that they (the Salvation Army) do is and my duty to lend a helping hand wherever I can.”

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