Making a Difference
March 29, 2012
Filed under Features
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Student Council may seem like an ordinary campus organization, one that simply has meetings once a week in order to discuss ways members can earn community service hours or finds ways to increase their club’s popularity in the school.
However, throughout the years, Student Council has distinguished itself by stepping out of these boundaries and reaching to the community and families that have little or no connection to West Brook.
Student Activities Director Kristi Fuselier has been advising this organization for the past ten years. With her in charge of nearly 80 hard-working members every year, helping families in need is a goal that is almost always achieved.
“I usually find out about families in need through phone calls, Facebook, or email,” Fuselier said. “But I honestly believe that God puts them in our path and it’s our duty to help them as much as possible.”
Nearly three years ago, this organization has helped former Coach Amanda Chadney by creating and selling shirts in order to raise money for her son, Grayson, who had a heart defect. This year, however, can be set apart because Student Council has “adopted” two children with two completely different stories.
“This year we have helped two families largely. These families are our two big, big efforts,” senior and Student Council President Charlie Adkins said.
Racer McLeod, a four-year-old boy, who has diabetic seizures immediately, became a Student Council ‘must help’ project. Racer needed a special service dog, which would alert his parents almost 20 minutes before his blood sugar drops or rises to a dangerous level.
“Once Student Council found out about how much this dog cost, we asked for donations from the entire school every Friday and through these efforts we raised about $1000,” senior and Student Council Vice-President Aaron Strawser said. “We also raised almost $2000 for Racer through a convention with 1000 plus people.”
Also at this convention, Student Council members raised awareness for Julia Cobb, who is diagnosed with a rare cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma. Like the donations given to Racer, Student Council asked for donations every Friday as well.
“In addition to raising money, we just recently threw her a birthday party at Chuck-E-Cheese’s and she had a lot of fun,” Strawser said. “It was wonderful to see Julia get away from doctors and medicine and just relax and have fun for a day!”
The impact Student Council has made on these families is almost immeasurable.
“I was so overwhelmed. It’s a circle of love. Student Council throwing the birthday party was so overwhelming. We never expected so many people to come,” mother of Julia, Jennifer Cobbs said. “Usually, we’re the ones doing things like that for other people, but it’s so different being on the other end and receiving so much love. I’m amazed at the faithful friends and at who all is helping us. With what started as a Student Council project has become a huge project. People we don’t even know are willing to help us and we cannot believe it. It’s amazing truly amazing that people would even care.”
Although making families across the community feel welcomed and giving them some form of hope is Student Council’s immediate goal, Fuselier may have greater aspirations.
“My ultimate goal is to simply help people and have an effect on students that even after they graduate, want to help people. Although Student Council may lead these types of projects, we act as a family here at West Brook and everyone participates,” Fuselier said. “I feel like if right now in high school we show students how important it is to help others, then afterwards they will continue to take that aspect of their lives and help other people and continue to make differences.”