New Club Performs Community Service

Hope+of+Hawaii+council+members+pose+for+a+photo.+From+right%2C+Jade+Bluestone%2C+Sophia+Dang%2C+Cayenne+Dabalos%2C+Leila+Gonzales+and+James+Rodden.

By Dominic Niyo

Hope of Hawaii council members pose for a photo. From right, Jade Bluestone, Sophia Dang, Cayenne Dabalos, Leila Gonzales and James Rodden.

Dominic Niyo, reporter

Hope of Hawaii, one of McKinley High School’s newest clubs, focuses entirely on community service. The club, founded by senior Jade Bluestone, is a student-led volunteer organization that focuses on issues affecting Hawai’i the most. The club meets every other Friday during lunch at C104 to discuss recent events, statistics, and how members can positively impact their focus issue.
This year’s focus issue is “Homelessness in Hawaii,” where club members intend to develop volunteer opportunities, projects and partnerships with other groups to benefit the community. Bluestone, the club’s president, said you don’t have to be a member of their club to participate or be involved in supporting their cause.
“We’ve been setting up donation bins that anyone can contribute to. The more donations we have, the bigger impact it’ll likely have towards our goal of combating homelessness,” Bluestone said.
The club started when Bluestone was assigned to do an in-depth study of an issue that was particularly relevant to Hawaii during her junior year of history class. The research she conducted inspired her to have a goal of forming an organization that engages in volunteer work.
“I felt that it would be great to do something about it,” Bluestone said.
At first, Bluestone wasn’t sure if she wanted to go after this goal of hers, but when she started sharing it with others, most fondly approved of it.
“They really encouraged me to keep going,” Bluestone said.
Senior Cayenne Dabalos, the club treasurer, recalled having a conversation with Bluestone about starting a club that emphasizes volunteerism.
“She wanted to create a club that was focused on a specific issue each year. She believed that the club couldn’t make any progress if it concentrated on too many issues,” Dabalos said. “She also wanted that every year, club members would vote on which issue to focus on.”
After Bluestone had accomplished starting a club, she and her new club members continued to pursue their goal of implementing community service. The club has successfully begun to hold donation bin drives and fundraising campaigns to combat Hawaii’s growing number of homeless people.
Club event-coordinator, senior James Rodden said, “We aim to influence the students and to act as leaders. Again, we’re spreading opportunities for volunteer work, so it would be nice for them to take responsibility and join us in serving our community.”
Every month, the club organizes different categories for their fundraising bins. During the month of September, they fundraised school supplies to provide relief to students and teachers who may not have substantial funds.
Junior Leila Gonzales, the club’s first president, said, “Our goal is to make as much impact as we can towards combating homelessness, and we believe that we can achieve it through little steps along the way.”
Gonzales said, “Overall, we’re really just excited that we can affect our community in a positive way, because that’s what we’re all about.”
Senior Sophia Dang, the club secretary, said she believes the more people who join, the quicker they’re likely to create more change. She also said she believes that joining this club can potentially be enjoyable and beneficial for extending one’s knowledge.
“I encourage the students to join the club because it’s just a great opportunity to help others, and you’ll also likely learn plenty of things from it,” Dang said. “I just love the little community we’ve created; just a bunch of people interested in making a change.”