At Hobbton High School, a group of students joined forces to put smiles on the faces of children as they undergo tough medical procedures.
The school’s Beta Club and Peer Group Connection (PGC) organizations recently assembled blankets for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy treatment through a project titled “Caring for Chemo.” During the community service project, the work consisted of tying up smaller blankets to make a large comforter for 24 patients at the North Carolina Children’s Hospital in Chapel Hill. The remaining gifts, which is about 24, will be sent to a domestic violence shelter.
Meredith Sinclair, a senior Beta Club member, said she enjoys helping people in need.
“With it being Christmas, you’re receiving a lot and it feels good to give to the kids that are not able to do things that you’re able to do at Christmas,” Sinclair said about the youths, who may be limited to staying in beds and hospital areas. “To spend time with their family, they have to be confined and not really move.”
Like Sinclair, Curtis Gautier, a senior and Beta Club member, enjoyed partaking in the activity. For another individual project, Gautier also served food with Civitan International to help raise money for exceptional students.
“It makes you feel that you’re actually doing something,” Gautier said about the blanket project and helping people beyond Sampson County and the town of Newton Grove.
While discussing the children, Sinclair mentioned family members who are undergoing chemotherapy treatment and the challenges that come with it.
“I know that it’s hard for adults to go through it,” she said with concern. “Imagine a kid going through it. I can’t imagine being a five year old and not being able to get up and run around outside or being the average kid. I know that has to be hard for them.”
As a member of the Beta Club, students such as Sinclair are required to do community service projects each semester and group projects such as assembling the blankets. For a personal project, Sinclair started a project titled “The Miracle of Dance,” which helps special needs children with dancing.
Armando Alonzo, a senior and PGC member, meets with freshmen students once a week along with other volunteers. He enjoys being a part of the mentor program and helping them transition into high school life.
Each year, PGC conducts a community service project. Last year, the organization hosted a dodge ball tournament to help with medical initiatives. Along with blankets, they were asked to bring in other items, such as coloring books and small toys to give to the children. The club also sent Christmas letters and made bracelets with words of encouragement such as “hope,” “faith,” and “courage.”
“It was to help keep them going and to help keep them positive,” Alonzo said about the children.
Under the guidance of Hobbton educators Carly Fogleman, PGC advisor and Carol King, Beta Club advisor, the students enjoyed working together for the project, which included collaboration of the groups and many students.
“Christmas is here and it allows us to bond together and do the right thing at the right time,” Alonzo said.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.