National Honor Society and Student Government Team Up to Serve the Community

The National Honor Society and Student Government programs at Dimond High School have joined forces over the past three weeks to host a socially distanced food drive, in order to support the growing needs of the community. 

Combining forces and widespread communication proved vital to the success of the food drive, as the clubs were able to donate 129 four-serving meals as well as 500 additional cans of food. 

Lem Wheeles, a History and Student Government teacher at Dimond stated, “I was blown away by the generosity of our Dimond community. The first couple of days almost nothing came in, then suddenly we were emptying overflowing bins every day. 

“Considering none of us are coming to school on a daily basis, it’s even more impressive to see so many people make a special trip to campus to donate.”

The Anchorage community has been tried and tested as a result of this pandemic. It has brought economic and emotional hardship to families across Anchorage, which can lead to an increase in food insecurity. 

Dimond Senior and National Honor Society President Harlie Lewellan stated, “The community needs emotional and physical support.”

Lewellan has adapted how the club is operating in order to continue serving.

 “We are trying to find new ways to help the community. This has come in more virtual and individual ways,”  she said. 

To carry out the food drive in the safest way possible, the clubs set out bins by the swimming pool in which students and teachers could drop their items off individually during specific hours. 

With the help of swimmers from the club, the bins were brought in the pool area to be safely stored overnight and brought back out in the morning. This way there would not have to be large gatherings or person-to-person contact in order to collect the items. 

Combining the efforts of both the National Honor Society and Student Government played a large role in the success of the food drive and helped the clubs overcome the challenges of running a food drive in a distanced setting

Dimond Senior and member of both National Honor Society and Student Government Ian Cruickshank stated, “With online school it has been very difficult to get a lot of participation from the student body so we realized it would be most productive to work together.”

This proved to be a successful collaboration that engaged a wider range of the Dimond community, with few bumps in the road.

Cruickshank stated, “One of the positive impacts was that we could reach more people in our community which resulted in a very successful food drive that involved a variety of members of the Dimond community. There really were not any challenges of the collaboration, both groups worked really well together and split responsibilities evenly.” 

It was such a success, that the clubs are thinking of continuing this tradition into the future.

“I would say that deciding to join forces for the food drive was a very smart decision and I will most definitely be more open to partnerships like this again,” Cruickshank stated. 

Effective communication is another strategy used to engage the Dimond community 

Anita Koelsch, a Dimond Senior and secretary of the National Honor Society, stated, “Communication is critical, especially in an event like this. Obviously the more people that know about it the better chance we have at making our food drive successful, that’s why it was really important to have a lot of advertising.”

Usually, advertising for the food drive takes place in the classroom. Teachers set out their bins to collect food before a lesson, and the morning announcements usually mention it daily as well. 

This year the “classroom” is a more relaxed concept, so the National Honor Society and student government have had to come up with new ways to spread the word. 

“We tried to get teachers involved, we made a graphic for Instagram with all the details, and of course student government has played a huge role and done a great job with the advertising.”

Koelsch said, “It’s been awesome to see the school come together for something like this, and it’s also great that we get to make a positive impact!”  

“Now more than ever giving back one of the things you can rely on. Not only do people need the help but it is a way to have an impact,” stated Lewellan.