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St. Clair Shores

October 2, 2013

Students work to brighten abused children’s day

By Kristyne E. Demske
C & G Staff Writer

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From left, 16-year-old Mackenzie Nemitz, 16-year-old Carly Vargo and 17-year-old Jasmine Vollmer show off boxes the Principles of Leadership class at Lake Shore High School has made to collect stuffed animals, juice boxes, snacks and donations for Care House of Macomb.

ST. CLAIR SHORES — They help coordinate activities at the school, from the Powder Puff game, homecoming parade and spirit week.

But they also share Shorian pride through community involvement and, now, members of Michelle Anderson’s Principles of Leadership Class at Lake Shore High School are bridging the two efforts with a collection for Care House of Macomb.

In advance of this year’s Homecoming game Oct. 4, students in the class are collecting new teddy bears, juice boxes, snacks and donations to support Care House of Macomb. The facility in Mount Clemens coordinates the investigation, prosecution and treatment services to victims of child sexual and physical abuse, including a coordinated forensic interview where all professionals involved in a case watch the forensic interview on closed circuit television, eliminating the need for the child to repeat his or her story over and over again.

There are collection boxes stationed at all Lake Shore Public Schools buildings, where donations will be collected until Oct. 3. Donations will also be accepted at the football game. At half-time, everything collected will be presented to Care House of Macomb representatives.

Anderson said the students look for an opportunity to help the community each year, and they discovered Care House through social media.

Working toward the goal, she said, gives the students an idea of what it means to lead. Class requirements include participation outside of class of at least two or three extra commitments; students contacted 160 area businesses in the city, asking them to be a part of the drive. They collected $180 in just the first three days.

“We’re trying to promote community involvement,” Anderson said. “For the most part, it’s been word-of-mouth — the girls getting out and working with the community.”

Students in the all-female class said they appreciated the goals of Care House.

“We get to help out little kids,” said 16-year-old Mackenzie Nemitz, a junior at the high school.

Meeting multiple deadlines and coordinating the various efforts, plus continuing to plan activities for spirit week, makes the parade and the game a challenge, said 16-year-old senior Carly Vargo.

Nevertheless, she said, it’s possible because “we all have positive attitudes.”

“It was all new to me, but I really liked it because you get to make a difference in a kid’s life and make them happy,” she said of Care House of Macomb.

Seventeen-year-old Jasmine Vollmer, a senior, said they also went to a Board of Education meeting to invite them to participate in Homecoming, and the fundraiser.

“We’re trying to get as many people involved as possible,” she said. “It’s good we’re doing the Care House because not enough is being done.”

Donations are accepted at Rodgers, Masonic Heights and Violet elementary schools, Kennedy Middle School, Lake Shore High School, and the Lake Shore Public Schools Administration Building. The high school Powder Puff game is Sept. 29. The homecoming parade steps off at 5 p.m. Oct. 4 from Kennedy Middle School, and the game kicks off at 7 p.m.

For more information on Care House of Macomb, visit www.mccarehouse.org or call (586) 463-0123.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Kristyne E. Demske at kdemske@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1041.