Give Back Club Helps Veterans During the Holidays

The Give Back Club lent a helping hand this holiday season through ‘Shelter Our Soldiers’


Picture taken by Danielle Elia of Give Back club members at the Tailgate

Giving back is a crucial element to become part of this community-driven club. 

Give Back provides a sense of togetherness among students and the community. They spend their time collecting cans and food for Thanksgiving, helping out with the Spirit Week activities, and giving back to the community through fundraisers. In addition, every year, Give Back partners with Shelter Our Soldiers.

Give Back originally came up with the ‘Shelter Our Soldiers’ fundraiser idea by partnering with the organization of the same name. The organization was founded in Kinnelon; as Student Assistance Counselor Danielle Wysocki explains, “We started it here. Mr. Akin […] his children went to Kinnelon High school, the founder of ‘Shelter Our Soldiers.’ So […] when we were speaking with his children, [we] came up with the idea of putting together care packages.”

They had to make the proper preparations for this event to take off. “We start with the wishlist of items, […] which makes it easier for people who [aren’t] in person or […] live in other states, […] to ship us the stuff,” says Elia. The members of the club inform others through social media, flyers and emails to “see what kind of donations we’re willing to get.” 

While ‘Shelter Our Soldiers’ is a KHS event, the Give Back strives to connect the Kinnelon community through their work. “It’s involved our KHS members, as well as the community members. We request donations through the newsletter that goes to all the parents, and some of our members have actually gone out and spoken to different locations […] We’ve asked other people for donations, sometimes dentist offices, church groups. So we’ve tried to include outside members from this school that includes the community,” says Elia.

Give Back works to involve the community and involve students in KHS to share their passions and learn about themselves. “This club has helped me communicate with others that have the same interest as me, giving back,” says senior and club president Mia Corigliano who’s been in the club for the past three years.

‘Shelter Our Soldiers’ is a community service-based project, helping those who have helped us. As Wysocki says, “The message is to make sure to care for others who may be in a spot where they’re unable to provide for themselves, to give back to our society kinda.”