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Archive for Thursday, November 5, 1998

WANTED: GOOD CAUSES SEEK STUDENTS

November 5, 1998

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A volunteer fair will give high school students a chance to donate their talents.

Free State High School junior Jackie Holladay wants to get her hands dirty.

She'd like to try swinging a hammer or painting walls as part of a Habitat for Humanity team. She's already done extensive volunteer work with Girl Scouts and the Free State Key Club, the school's volunteer organization.

"A lot of high school kids want to get involved but don't know how," Holladay said.

The Second Annual Volunteer Fair brought community organizations into the school on Wednesday and gave students an opportunity to "shop" for an organization that needs their help.

"We're looking for something that would be applicable to high school students," Key Club vice president Kris Kline said. "The idea is to get high school students out and involved in the community."

The goal is for each Key Club volunteer to give 50 hours each school year to community service, Kline said.

"Working with elderly people and children is always popular with high school students," he said.

More than 20 Lawrence service organizations set up booths at the Volunteer Fair.

"It's particularly important above and beyond getting volunteers, of making young people aware that there is such a thing as Hospice in Lawrence," said Piet Knetsch, director of Hospice Care in Douglas County "To a lot of high school students death and dying is scary."

Knetsch said that of the 40 to 50 people who currently work as Hospice volunteers, only one is a high school student.

"We would like to have more," he said. "They find out it's not as scary as they think it's going to be. They find out that people who are dying are not so different than the rest of us."

Key Club sponsor Tina Johnson said the volunteer fair gives students an opportunity to visit with service organizations they might not otherwise get to know.

"The community does a lot for students," Johnson said. "I think it's important for them to give something back."

The fair also sparks interest, Johnson said.

"It's one-stop community service shopping for them," she said. "They can find something they're really interested in. It opens up a lot of options for them."

The volunteer fair comes today to Lawrence High.

-- JL Watson's phone message number is 832-7145. Her e-mail address is jwatson@ljworld.com.

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