Past Projects

2008 Christmas in October
Christmas In October is a volunteer program that the high school’s Volunteer Club has been participating in for the past two years. It began in 1984. It was founded by Dick Miller and John McMeel. In 1984, with the help of volunteers, they worked on twenty houses in the Kansas City area. With time, this program has grown immensely and volunteers in the metropolitan area of Kansas work on over four hundred houses a year. Christmas In October not only operates in Spring Hill, but also all around Kansas. The goal of this non-profit organization is to provide help to homeowners who lack the skills or money necessary to do repairs themselves. To participate, members of the community are required to apply for assistance. Then, the Christmas in October committee chooses based on the most need. Often elderly or disabled homeowners are chosen; however, the committee also picks families with young children who lack the financial ability to repair their homes.

The Volunteer Club worked with elderly and handicapped families to help them repair their homes. On Saturday, October fourth, a group of twelve volunteers ventured out and helped our community. The Volunteer Club worked for four hours, painting an entire house, and doing whatever needed to be done. The volunteers split up and painted two different houses in Spring Hill. One group painted the trim at one house, while the other group did an entire base coat on another house. When the first group was finished, they joined the second group and together they painted an entire house, the trim and all. The Volunteer Club accomplished a lot in a relatively short amount of time.

By working with Christmas In October, the Volunteer Club was able to change the lives of two families. Several of the students that volunteered were able to actually talk with one of the women whose house they painted. By talking with her, they realized how grateful and appreciative she was. They realized just how much they had helped not only her, but also their entire community. Everyone involved in Spring Hill’s Christmas In October was very pleased with the outcome, especially the families they worked with. The Volunteer Club went out there and made a difference.

Project Leaders: Taylor King and Brandon Ellison

Renovation in Greensburg

On September 2nd, a group of twenty volunteers embarked on a life-changing trip. The Volunteer Club went to Greensburg, Kansas, for a four-day project to help rebuild houses for the victims of the devastating F-5 tornado that ruined many lives in May of 2007. The Volunteer Club received many donations from surrounding businesses. Price Chopper in Spring Hill, Team Bank, State Bank of Spring Hill, Family Faith, and Sonic of both Louisburg and Spring Hill all donated.

The Volunteer Club went through a non-profit organization called Mennonite Housing that assisted the club in planning the project. Mennonite Housing is an organization made up of volunteers, many of them local to the Greensburg area, to rebuild houses and buildings in Greensburg. Their goal is to rebuild the town “green”. For something to be considered “green’ it must be made out of recycled materials while also being as eco-friendly as possible. The Volunteer Club slept in renovated box cars provided by Mennonite Housing. Each box car had two bunk beds in each room, and the bathrooms and showers were in a trailer. These living conditions were nothing compared to what some of the citizens were forced to live in.

The Volunteer Club participated in many activities while in Greensburg to help both Mennonite Housing and the community. Each day the group was divided into small groups of five to six people and sent to do various tasks. While some did caulking or sweeping, others cut shingles or moved lumber.

On the last day of work, some of the volunteers installed insulation and removed nails and screws from lumber. On Thursday evening the club attended a town dinner sponsored by an organization called “New York Says Thank You”. At this dinner, New York fire fighters and disaster survivors from all over America were in attendance to help build a youth center for Greensburg and participate in a barn raising for the local 4-H club. The Volunteer Club was able to listen to many different inspirational speakers while at Greensburg. Listening to each of the disaster survivors tell their story made many of the volunteers realize how lucky they are to have the luxuries they have.

By working for Mennonite Housing, the Volunteer Club was able to earn back money for the city of Greensburg to help relieve their debt from the government. Every hour each volunteer worked, they were paid seven dollars per person to help alleviate the amount of money owed by Greensburg. The Volunteer Club earned four hundred dollars for the city. The town was very appreciative of all the help the club contributed. The project managers were told when they first arrived, how, as time goes on, less and less volunteers are coming to assist the people of Greensburg; America is forgetting. The Volunteer Club showed the city of Greensburg that they have not been forgotten.

Project Leaders: Shelby Brooks and Dallas Waage

St. Vincent's / Operation Breakthrough

On Friday October 24th, the Spring Hill Volunteer Club took twenty-six volunteers to Operation Breakthrough. Operation Breakthrough’s Daycare is a place where children of low-income families have a place to play and learn while their parent's try to work and save money. The building itself holds over 600 kids of all ages. The waiting list for the daycare has over 700 kids.

Once the volunteers arrived at the daycare, the volunteers were spread out into different rooms occupying all different age ranges, helping out teachers, and playing with the kids. Some of the tasks the student volunteers were involved in included changing diapers, helping serve lunch, and assisting with music time. There was even an activity in one classroom where the kids had to stick their hands inside a pumpkin and describe what they felt! The volunteers did not come to the daycare empty-handed; they brought a special surprise. The older children received Frankenstein designed boxes with goodies inside. The boxes were filled with candy, rubber bouncy balls, and glow in the dark tattoos! The kids really loved these, and some drew on them with markers and added their own stickers and pictures to make them even more special.

Operation Breakthrough is adding a new outdoor classroom, but it was covered in tree limbs and leaves, so the volunteers assisted in picking up a large pile of tree branches and sticks off the ground, and they loaded them into a large truck.

The project was eye opening and a great learning opportunity for the volunteers. It really made students appreciate what they have and what they have been blessed with!

Project Leaders: Julia Hacker, Haley Jones, and Lindsay Macoubrie

KC Rescue Mission
On November 7, 2008 Spring Hill High School students went to the Kansas City Rescue Mission. This mission started in 1950 and is for the poor, homeless, and hungry men in the Kansas City area. This Christian based program provides a six-month in-house journey for the participants. The path leads the men to recovery, relief, and re-entry. It allows the homeless freedom from their past and hope for their future. It also offers food, shelter, and bedding to anyone who pertains to the Mission's requirements of living there.

The volunteers arrived at the Rescue Mission at noon, which was just in time for lunch. On our way to lunch, the students noticed there were several encouraging signs telling them to believe and to reach for the stars. That really led them into our great opportunity of eating lunch with the men. This allowed the students to get the real perspective and a chance to meet the homeless and get to know them a little bit. Lunch lasted for 40 minutes, and that was the right amount of time to hear their life stories and also gave us a chance to tell them about ours. Not only did we touch their lives, but they touched ours as well.

After lunch, the volunteer coordinator led us into a little room where the volunteers helped wrap Christmas presents. The facility bought mugs to give to the people that go to the mission for Christmas. It really touched the students that we got to participate in doing something for the people that were not getting something for Christmas. The students also had to work together to get the task accomplished, so we all had to come together and work like a team. Which is really what volunteering is all about!

Project Leaders: Taylor Labra and Kelsey Carbajo

Rose Brooks
On Saturday, November 22nd, Spring Hill High School’s Volunteer Club organized a project at, Rose Brooks Women’s Shelter. Two students who are involved in the Volunteer Class, Heather Offutt and Valerie Hampton, organized this project. Rose Brooks is a shelter for women and children. It started in 1978 when a woman named Rose Brooks had witnessed her neighbor being abused and decided that she wanted to do something about it. Rose opened her house to the abused women and children needing help throughout her neighborhood within twenty four hours of what she had witnessed. Thanks to Rose around 10,000 battered women and children have a place to go to be safe each year.

Rose Brooks is a facility where women and children feel safe and free. They perform therapy sessions for both the mother and child; the sessions are a way for the children to express the abuse in a safe manner. The staff members at Rose Brooks also meet with the mothers and help them find jobs, insurance, housing, etc. One goal of Rose Brooks is to make the transition easy and smooth and help the mothers get back on their feet.

To lighten the holiday seasons, Spring Hill High School's Volunteer Club, with the huge help of the managers, Heather Offutt and Valerie Hampton, prepared a Thanksgiving Party for the women and children living at Rose Brooks. The party offered seven different crafts, candy and whole lot of smiles. Not only did we throw a great party, but also we helped clean the children’s therapy toy room and wrapped Christmas presents and we also donated $755.61 to the center.

“Rose Brooks was not only a way to help other people, but to also help ourselves,” students would say. This facility showed the volunteers that they need to be thankful for what they have and sometimes high school students tend to take things for granted. Not only did it show the students to not take their situation for granted, but that you can change the world immensely by only doing a little.

Project Leaders: Valerie Hampton and Heather Offutt
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