Ad/ Social Media Manager
16 May 2023
One day, you were in the car with your mom. You were getting ready for prom by having a day out and getting your nails done and blowouts. You were on cloud nine on your way home from the salon with Starbucks in hand dreaming of her magical day. As you both pulled up to a stoplight in front of your gated community, you glanced over to see a man. The man was around 50, beat up clothes, a gloomy look on his face, and holding a tattered cardboard sign. The sign read, “Please help. I am hungry and homeless.” You were immediately humbled as you rarely see homeless people in the area where you’re from. You wanted to help the poor man but you didn’t have any money. You knew your mom wouldn’t give you any, you were at a loss and was forced to keep going. Even though you went to your nice home, you could not get rid of the gut wrenching feeling that she was not able to help, You were at a loss.
Giving back in the community does not always have to involve giving back with money. Using your time and actions can make a huge difference in someone’s life. Atholton students have many options that are readily available to them to help out the local community and support somebody in need. Clubs like Becca’s closet, minority student unions, and Be the Change Club are all options for students to help with or join. There are also many websites and organizations like Grassroots for students to utilize as well.
Becca’s Closet is a club at Atholton whose goal is to give back to the community, in particular, those with indispensable incomes, and members that may not be able to easily express themselves with their clothing. They strive to give back to their community by donating prom and homecoming dresses to high school students at Atholton. Oliva Elliott, a junior at Atholton, is a member of Becca’s Closet and she stated that, “In the past we have had trans and LGBTQIA+ individuals who were not supported by their families and were able to come to us for dresses and support to express themselves.” The club was not only used to give back to those with less disposable income but also those who aren’t able to easily express themselves and dress how they want to.
Atholton also has a club called Be the Change. Be the Change is dedicated to giving back to the community and the less fortunate in a variety of ways. The club is easy to join and gives an opportunity to help despite being a member. Julia Ballou, a senior at Atholton is the president of the club and explained that the club has many activities throughout each month. “Examples of these activities include our annual trash pick up around Atholton High School and the Menstrual Products drive, where we collected around 11,000 products this year!” It is clear that Be the Change has made a change.
The Asian Student Union is an example of one of the many minority clubs that are intended to celebrate culture and inclusivity. Ezra Prester, junior at Atholton and one of the many members of the club, explained that the club “helps to shine light on Asian culture and a variety of Asian cultures like East Asian, South East Asian, etc.” Giving back doesn’t always have to mean volunteering but also to make sure that everyone feels welcomed and included.
Grassroots is an organization that was created to provide support for people’s mental health, take in the homeless, and feed those who cannot afford to eat well. One of the many locations is next to Atholton and oftentimes Atholton supports them with non-perishables food drives that support those in need through Grassroots. Bringing in those canned peas and corn that have been sitting in the pantry for a while might be worth bringing in.
In addition, there are local drop boxes around Columbia like Planet Aid donation bin (6251 Columbia Crossing Cir, Columbia, MD 21045) and Better World Books drop box (6440 Freetown Rd) that are easily accessible and convenient for donations.
Giving back to the community is easier than ever before. At Atholton, joining clubs like Becca’s closet, Be the Change, and minority student unions, or even participating in their events makes it easier to help those who need help. Money shouldn’t be a barrier when it comes to being a helping hand.