When the community is in need, there’s one group of residents who aren’t far behind, willing to help. This fall has been no different.
Wilmington High School students have participated in a variety of drives for non-profit organizations in recent weeks, including one for the Wilmington Food Pantry and another club that is supporting Local Heroes.
“It is exciting and makes me proud that our students can immediately mobilize when necessary,” said WHS principal Eric Tracy. “They have always gone above and beyond the call of duty in these situations. I’m not sure our community realizes how much our students do within the community and beyond.”
Though Wilmington High School students are required to perform community service before graduation, Tracy said the recent drives are above and beyond that requirement. He said that in total, Wilmington students perform over 10,000 volunteer hours per year.
Students took the lead on the food drive upon finding out that the Wilmington Food Pantry was in need of donations with demand on the rise. National Honor Society and Medical Careers Club spearheaded the efforts, and many teachers took to social media to spread the word as well.
Tracy said this isn’t the first time he recalls his students stepping up with a group in need. He recalls the disaster in Haiti several years ago when Wilmington students raised a substantial amount of money in a five day period.
The principal also pointed to the 9/11 Memorial Committee, which has raised several thousand dollars to build a memorial at the new high school, a school most students on the committee are likely to never even attend.
“The compassion and commitment of our staff and students never ceases to amaze me,” said Tracy. “We hope that our students continue these efforts beyond Wilmington to help others in even more dire situations or even for problem solving by social mobilization at a global level. There are so many opportunities for our students to get involved. We hope they develop a passion and continue to grow their grassroots efforts at the community level in to a larger scale assistance that will impact many others.”
While Tracy said there are many high points in his job, seeing these recent and ongoing volunteer efforts is near the top of the list.
“I’m lucky because I have lots of rewards in my job, but this is certainly one of the aspects that makes me very proud,” said Tracy. “Just when I think our staff and students have reached the limits of what they accomplish, they push a little harder and do something no one every expected.”