According to Executive Director Sandra Spavone, FCCLA, short for Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, is a cocurricular organization that aims to help youth in public and private schools with family bonds, careers, and participation in the community.
The FCCLA Chapter at Archbold High School has been very active into the first few months of 2017, organizing, sponsoring, at volunteering at numerous events throughout Fulton County, and beyond.
Tess Pinter, the school’s FCCLA Advisor, is proud of the impact the students have had with their various service projects.
“I think there is a huge impact on the community we serve and are helping but even more so the students. The organizations we help volunteer with are always appreciative of the work our students offer and provide. They are grateful we chose to come out and help provide extra hands to conquer tasks. In reflecting with the students afterwards, the students are always appreciative of the opportunity to help/serve others and learn/grow themselves through these experiences,” she said.
So far this school year, they’ve teamed with the Archbold Rotary Club and the Parks & Recreation Department to host the town’s Punt, Pass & Kick event, volunteered for Fulton County Christmas Cheer, and hung drywall, painted trim, removed posts in yard, and hung siding for projects with the Fulton County Habitat for Humanity.
In addition, the organization has been active in serving those in the retirement community at Fairlawn Haven. At Fairlawn’s Service Day, the students broke up into small groups and completed tasks such as stripping wallpaper to prep for a new Activities Room, set-up tablets for residents to use, prepared for the home’s Halloween party, and performed outdoor clean-up. Students would return to assist with the Heart-a-thon Carnvial.
Students have also enjoyed reaching out and aiding local families and children. In December, they coordinated an Angel Tree program that had wish lists from local foster kids and families. Students chose a person or family’s list and bought Christmas gifts for them.
Most recently, the organization visited the Ronald McDonald House of Northwest Ohio in Toledo, an organization providing a home-away-from-home for families who travel to Toledo for their children’s medical care.
In their visit, students delivered 258 pounds of pop can tabs, as well as $500 worth of supplies donated by the Archbold Rotary Club. They also helped to prepare food, cleaned, washed windows, and pulled weeds.
Often times volunteering can be seen as bore or people simply don’t prioritize their time to do it, but the Archbold FCCLA thinks that it is an activity that keeps the world turning and a better place to live.
“I think volunteering is important because you are serving and giving your time and energy to others. It is about the individual [or] organization you are volunteering for. I think it also gets you out of your comfort zone to learn and grow as an individual,” Pinter said.
For anyone who has an interest in volunteering in the community, Pinter has a few words of advice about getting started “Find an organization and/or population you enjoy working with and call and ask if you can be apart of the team. Most places would love to have volunteers come in and work. It’s an amazing opportunity to serve others. You will learn a great amount from others as well as about yourself.” she said.