PHS Students Give Back to Community


The holiday season is a time for giving and gathering, and a major part of this is giving back to the community. Students at Pella High, including members of the student council, demonstrate the importance of giving back through service programs and by setting up convenient donation opportunities to make sure everyone feels the love during this special time.

Members of the Pella High School student council engage the student body in the importance of donating and helping the community with a student group named the Culture Action team. Members of this team, senior Ashley Uitermarkt and freshman Ella Hartwick, put together a food drive, reaching out to students and encouraging donations. 

We were brainstorming ideas of how we could give back to people in the community during a student and staff culture meeting, and it was suggested that we should do a food drive,” said Hartwick. “We wanted students to have some different activities to participate in during the Thanksgiving season. What better way than to give back?”

Uitermarkt and Hartwick highlight the importance of thinking of others during this season. Through the Culture Action team and the Leader in Me program, they are able to encourage the students around them to try and give to others during the holiday season, especially those who might need some help making the holidays special for everyone. And giving back, Uitermarkt says, can also have a reward for the giver.

“It is easy to overlook the people who aren’t able to afford as many gifts or as much special food as society expects at this time of the year,” said Uitermarkt. “Giving back resources or your time to help people in your community and make them feel special can not only help them and make them feel appreciated, but can also give joy to the person who is trying to make an impact and remind them to be grateful for all they have this holiday season!”

Another student at Pella High, senior Maggie Leach, promotes a service program named Operation Share The Load, and this year was her tenth consecutive year running it. Leach highlights the importance of being selfless and helping those around us.

“I think that it is important to give back to the community when we take so many things for granted and to share our privilege with other people,” said Leach. “The holiday season is hard for families in poverty specifically; it’s important to do what we can for families who are already working hard to make this season magical.”

The holiday season is a great time to be with family and friends, but as described by the student body, it is important to focus outwards and to be kind to those around us. 

Most people don’t realize that not everyone can afford a holiday meal or gifts for family,” said Hartwick. “There are many organizations that students could donate to this holiday season. It’s so important to give to families that are in need.”