GC teachers, students find ways to help community

by Jeanna Brown/Staff Writer

The holidays can be a very challenging time of the year. Families may be struggling with money, or even losing a loved one. People in the community like to do a lot to help others in the community. Many teachers and students here at Greenfield Central love to help the community as much as they can. 

Melanie Matlock, 10, said that she likes to donate presents to kids who don’t have any. “I like to help the community as best I can. I feel like I should volunteer more of my time to help others.” Matlock also mentioned, “If I had to choose between buying Christmas presents and cooking dinner for a family, I would choose to make dinner because some people don’t get to have home cooked meals all of the time.” When asked what family tradition she would like to spread to others, she mentioned a Christmas morning tradition. “Every Christmas we open presents, and eat a big breakfast at home. I think other families should make breakfast on Christmas morning.” 

Hayley Herrin, 10, said she loves helping out the community every second she gets. “I feel like if I can do little things to help the community and make a difference, then I will be more than happy to help them out.” Herrin said there are so many kids in the community that are struggling, so she tries to donate to them as much as possible. “I like to donate articles of clothing to homeless shelters to help people in need. I feel like I could donate or help out the community a lot more than I do.” Herrin mentioned if she had the choice between buying Christmas presents for a family, or cooking them dinner, she would choose to make them Christmas dinner. “I feel like if I make them Christmas they would appreciate a nice homemade dinner and they would know it was made with love.” One family tradition Herrin would like to spread is, “Every year my family and I make hot chocolate and popcorn and we go on a car ride and listen to Christmas music and go look at Christmas lights. Sometimes we go and see the tree lighting downtown.” 

Lillie Pratt, 11, said she loves helping young kids as much as possible. “I usually liked to put money in the soil pots in front of Walmart or help the homeless. I feel during the holidays I could be more giving to those in need.” Pratt would prefer to buy Christmas presents for a family in need. “I would choose to buy presents because food can only be used once and presents can last a while.” Pratt said she believes every chance you get to donate to the community, you should. 

Not only do students at Greenfield Central help those in need, teachers do as well! It does not take a lot to help those in need. Mr. Josh Holden, health department, would do anything to help the community. “I have always thought about the people who don’t have a family to spend the holidays with.  We have a nursing home right down the road and I’m sure some of them don’t have a family to come to visit.  Every year I tell myself that I’m going to go spend time with someone who is alone.  Regrettably, I never do it.  Now, with COVID, I doubt I would even be allowed.” Helping out people does not mean that you have to spend a lot of money to help them. You could simply donate old items of clothing to them, and that would help them as well. Mr. Holden would rather donate presents to a family in need. “It all depends on the need.  When I was in college I met a man named Lucious Newsome. One day Lucious was helping feed the poor in Indianapolis a Thanksgiving dinner.  When he asked what they were going to do the next day, he was told that they only serve the poor once a year.  Then, he asked, “Won’t the people be hungry every day?”  Lucious spent the rest of his life serving the poor.  When I met him he was looking for college-aged kids who wanted to serve others by adopting a family from Hawville.  Our athletic advisory board, of which I was president, adopted the family.  The family didn’t need food, they needed opportunity.  We got the mom clothes that she could interview for jobs in.  We got her gas cards.  We got a local mechanic to donate time and labor to help with her car when she needed it.  The children got shoes and clothes.  They got school supplies.  They got sports equipment and fees paid because mom believed sports teach life lessons.  There were no toys, no video games, no candy, but they were so grateful.  It was awesome.” Just being kind to people can make a big difference as well. 

Mrs. Michelle Marler, math department, helps families in need all the time. Through Key Club, Mrs. Marler helped raise items at school for foster children. “I like to adopt a family in need. One thing I feel like I could do better during the holidays is just being kind to others.” One family tradition Mrs. Marler would like to pass onto others is helping others in need. 

Mrs. Angie Crumlin, math department, thinks that helping others in the community is very important. “I would like to pass on the traditions of my family onto the younger community.” A family tradition Mrs. Crumlin would like to pass onto other families is putting up the nativity set first. “The very first Christmas decoration we put up is the Nativity Scene because it is the reason for the season.” 

Helping our community can be done in many different ways. Whether you are doing as much as buying a family in need dinner, or as little as donating your old clothes to those in need. Even if you feel like what you are doing is not enough, it is being appreciated.