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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

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Clay High School students independently organized a large-scale community outreach initiative Sunday, April 21. The initiative, dubbed “Clay Cares” was the first of its kind for the Oregon high school.

Organizing students were thrilled with the successful launch.

Prior to the event, students contacted local organizations to inquire about possible service projects that could be accomplished by the all-volunteer student group, which include more than 60 students.

Clay-Cares-photo
On April 21, a contigent of more 60 Clay High School students volunteered
their time, completing service projects as part of their first ever Clay Cares
initiative.

Representatives from the Little Sisters of the Poor, Oregon Senior Center, New Harvest Church (Food For Thought) and Clay High School were heartened by the offer and delighted when their projects were completed in four hours.

“These kids were awesome – they moved a huge pile of trimmings,” said Bill Lindeman, from Little Sisters of the Poor. “Students did everything from hauling stone, mulching, planting, painting, cleaning and trimming trees.”

“They are indicative Oregon’s children – teens that care, teens that want to make a difference in the world,” said Pastor Sharon McQueary of New Harvest Church.

After completing all of their projects, the students enjoyed a pizza celebration in the school cafeteria. Joe’s Pizza provided discounted pizza for the party, while other local businesses sponsored the event by providing supplies and t-shirts for participants.

“We were delighted with the support of local businesses,” said student leader Luke Davis. “We told them what we were doing and they didn't hesitate to provide funding.”

Sponsors for the event included Eggleston Meinert & Pavley Funeral Homes, National Bank of Ohio and S & D Capital. Additional support came from GenoaBank and Mr. Emblem.

Clay Cares Day leadership team consisted of students Luke Davis, Andrew English, Todd Klewer, Megan Ladd, Kyle Gladieux, Brandy Pelfry, Lydia Winckowski and Mackenzie Doring. They were supported by Clay teacher volunteers Dawn Thompson and Vallie Robeson.

“We were so impressed with how ambitious this group of students were, and how hard they worked,” Thompson said. “This was truly 100 percent their project.”

The team is hopeful that Clay Cares Day will be the beginning of a legacy of high school students providing service to those in need in their Oregon community, Davis said.

“I thought it was a fun day.  I actually enjoyed helping the community.  It was a good feeling to accomplish so much by working together.  I think this project should be continued in the future," said Megan Ladd, student participant

The seniors on the committee issued a challenge to the Clay class of 2014: “Our team spent the entire school year preparing for this event, and we challenge the class of 2014 to do it bigger, better and bolder next year.”

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