Daily Point of Light # 2861 Jan 21, 2005

The Peekskill High School (PHS) Interact Club continues to distinguish itself at PHS and in the Peekskill community.

Based upon their desire to help young children and to serve as role models, members are hosting the 5th annual “Safe Halloween” in conjunction with Make A Difference Day. Members decorate the 1st floor of the high school and children are invited to trick or treat in the classrooms, make a Halloween craft and play games in the cafeteria. This event continues to be a success with over 250 children attending each year. Members also volunteer with the Uriah Hill and Oakside PTO’s at their holiday fairs, Valentine’s Day dance, and Family Fun Day.

For the Past 4 years, members visit Drum Hill Senior Living on the 3rd Thursday of the month to do arts and crafts projects. They also host a “senior, senior prom”. This year’s proved to be the best one yet with 22 members and 65 seniors dancing the night away.

Members put their culinary skills to work preparing an entire meal for the Salvation Army Soup Kitchen. On the first Friday of the month, members prepare a meal of bake ziti, meatball, tossed salad and brownies. The following day, members deliver and serve the meal and socialize with the participants. This has been going on for six years. During the holiday season, the club participates in the Salvation Army’s bell ringing. Members ring outside the local Wal-Mart and have been able to raise over $1,000.

The club participates in several fundraising projects to help several non-profit organizations. One fundraiser is for the Heifer Project. Members have raised monies to purchase 4 llamas and a flock of chicks, which have been sent to a third world country. Daffodils were also sold to help the American Cancer Society. Over $1,000 has been raised. Once a month the club works with Habitat for Humanity of Westchester. Over the past 6 years, members have worked at three different sites and are presently working on a training center and home in Peekskill. The club has also been placed on the student advisory board for Habitat for Humanity.

Members volunteer at the Keon Center, a non-profit agency that provides life skills training for the developmentally disabled, at their BINGO nights and holiday parties. They also visit the New York State Veteran’s Home on a monthly basis to play cards, read and socialize with the residents. Members have sorted clothes for the school district’s warm clothing drive and provide the set up, food and clean up for the Honor Roll breakfasts. Members also took part in the National Read-Aloud and Children’s Book Week by going to Aunt Bessie’s Day Care Center, Uriah Hill and Woodside Elementary Schools to read their favorite books to the children.

A major project that the club took part in this year was Hidden Heroes. This intergenerational living history project was a collaboration with the Paramount Center for the Arts and Westchester Community College. Members put in 60 hours each researching, interviewing and editing tapes of 13 “Hidden Heroes” who they selected in the Peekskill community. It was a positive interaction between teenagers and the senior citizen population in Peekskill.

The members of the Peekskill High School Interact Club are dedicated to serving others and through their continued efforts the lives of many people are touched.