Editor's note: This article was written by Forsyth Central High School's journalism class in partnership with the Forsyth County News.
By Emma Harding
For most people, community service is a huge factor in determining participation within their community. There are many opportunities for people to help in Forsyth County with organizations such as The Place, United Way and No Longer Bound.
But what about global concerns? How are Forsyth County residents helping those around the world?
Some students in Forsyth County have taken it upon themselves.
Sophie Ralph, a student at Denmark High School, had a desire to help the poverty-stricken people of Africa. She founded the “I Am One” club. As a chapter of the Just One Africa organization, founded by Amy Churchill, this club raises funds to provide communities in Africa with water filters to prevent the spread of waterborne illnesses.
Along with classmates Madeline Pittman and Sheena Deepak, Ralph helps organize meetings where students string together beads to create bracelets that will be sold to raise money for the purchase of water filters.
“’I Am One’ has shown the students at Denmark that volunteering and making a difference in the world can be as simple and as fun as stringing bracelets with friends,” Ralph said.
Whether the bracelets are strung by the students themselves or are handmade overseas, the impact that they have is greater than anyone could ever imagine. Ariana Cohen, Elizabeth Rymarev, Anna Sol, and Yuna Lee of Forsyth Central High School have shown this to be true with their club HOPE (Helping Overseas Poverty Environments.)
By pushing to reactivate this club after three years of no activity, these girls thought it was important to help solve global humanitarian issues in a way that would be appealing to local students.
Through the organization Threads of Hope, which primarily focuses on helping people dealing with extreme poverty in the Philippines, the HOPE club plans to fight against the issue of human trafficking.
“It’s inspiring to help create change, not only within our community but across oceans as well,” shared Cohen.
Sometimes, the hardest part is deciding which organization to support. Instead of choosing a specific location or cause, the Lambert Compassion club at Lambert High School has made the decision to sponsor a child in need.
How you can help
With $2,134 raised already, Lambert Compassion is nearly halfway to being able to sponsor one child for the next nine years. To help, go to their fundraiser night at City Barbeque on March 12, from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Lambert Compassion will receive 25 percent of all sales from customers who present a special barcode. Or donate directly to the club's GoFundMe page by clicking the here.
Abby Bell started the club for a school assignment, but it’s grown into more than that. With help from Sophie Holley, Emily San Antonio, Kyla Doyle, and Asia Thomas, Bell has raised funds that will go towards sponsoring an at-risk child in need from the World Vision database. The club’s goal is to raise the necessary funds to sponsor one child for the next nine years by the end of the school year.
“Our vision is for every student at Lambert to feel a personal connection to the child,” Bell said.
The amount of dedication each of these first-year clubs has put into solving global humanitarian issues presents a hopeful promise.