The Grizzly Growl

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Jordan School District's Winter Service Efforts

Cassey Ivie and Chasity Mayo

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“You all know I could care less about birthdays,” the previous debate coach, Scott Odekirk, stated as students stomped into his classroom, snowflakes fluttering off boots and moisture clinging to eyelashes. “They are entirely focused on the individual. But the winter holidays are nothing like that. It doesn’t matter if you are talking about Christmas or Hannukah or Kwanza. They all focus on being nice to each other and seeing something other than yourself.” The speech that followed the simple comment quickly transformed into a plea for each student to engage fully in Paws-4-A-Cause. Near the end, he remarked, “You have the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than yourself. Don’t miss it.”

Coach Odekirk invited every student to be part of something greater to celebrate the winter holidays, and schools across the district strive to maximize similar impact. Similar to our Paws-4-A-Cause, every school across our district has its own charitable winter project. Our district’s combined total last year was over $410,000, donating to over four separate charities and community groups.

Riverton is often cited as the most successful high school charity, raising over $191,000 last year and a grand total of over $1,253,714 during the 17 years they have been doing SilverRush. Over the past several years they have supported the Olive Osmond Hearing Fund, Intermountain Healing Hearts, and Mitchell’s Journey. The Silverwolves are unique in the aspect of reaching outside of their school. By finding sponsors to contribute, the student body is capable of a higher overall total. They reach out to vendors such as Chick-fil-A, Chipotle, and Panda Express to encourage their student body.

West Jordan High School students devote their efforts to a different local charity every year, which they announce during their winter-charity assembly, the last one being the Tyler Robinson Foundation. They raise money through student donations, odd jobs, and donations at their annual Christmas concert. Abby Lowry, West Jordan Senior, said, “I like how all of our charity events bring us as the student body closer together. With activities like odd jobs I get the chance to know people who I might not usually talk to. Overall it’s a win-win situation.” Katherine Peterson, West Jordan Senior, added, “It is the time of year where everyone is willing to give and to help others so we are able to unite as a school to help people in our community.”

Herriman’s winter-charity project is called Hearts of Gold. Last year they helped the charity Soles4Souls. They have frequent assemblies to keep the energy going, and the clubs compete to raise the most money. “Everyone loves the whole thing and everyone gets involved,” said Ally Parent, Herriman Junior. She believes the diversity of their school helps them band together to accomplish something larger than themselves.

Across school lines, Student Body Officers can be seen with bands of students going door to door, doing odd jobs from caroling to shoveling walks, all in exchange for spare change. Lunch periods are filled with goods being sold and donations being given. Each school is unique in its own traditions and methods of fundraising, but each contributes to a world of change created by the Jordan School District.

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