Community Efforts Abound

Remember Colchester Middle School’s Advocates for All? In the interest of aligning more closely with CHS Cares—a volunteer organization at Colchester High School allowing students to make a difference in our community—they’ve changed their name to Caring Cougars, and they’ve been hard at work making positive contributions.

The group’s overall philosophy is akin to the ancient concept of paying it forward, a movement that was more modernly heralded in the film Pay It Forward. It is essentially a concept whereby good deeds are repaid by passing them along to others who need them.

Under faculty advisor Patty Ward, the Caring Cougars—comprised of more than a dozen students in grades 6–8—are running a food drive to benefit the Colchester Community Food Shelf. They also ran a campaign to raise money for News Channel 5′s twelfth-annual Toys for Kids initiative. They raised funds by selling candy canes and beverages and by accepting monetary donations. They also offered students a $1 discount to a dance with the donation of a new, unwrapped toy, which itself brought in nearly thirty new toys! The Caring Cougars then shopped for Toys for Kids at the Learning Express in Essex Junction, which offered the Caring Cougars a discount for the campaign.

The group meets twice a week to brainstorm ideas for how to make a positive impact on our community. In October, they sold pink bracelets to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research, and in November, they helped CHS Cares with its annual Thanksgiving basket endeavor, which involves collecting and sorting food items to benefit Colchester families.

These are the students in your community—your children and your neighbors’ children. There is a lot of very powerful good happening all around us. Celebrate it, and help keep the momentum going. This is a dynamic community.

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