By Kira B.
Why help those in need? For Caetlin O., a senior at Duxbury High School, the answer was simple.
“If there are people who need help and you’re able to help – why wouldn’t you? It’s a reality that people are struggling and we need to accept that and do what we can to help,” said Caetlin.
Caetlin has been the president of the Humanitarian Project since her sophomore year, and a member since she was a freshman. Caetlin explained that members of the Humanitarian Project do as much volunteering as possible. This might include helping out at soup kitchens, women’s homeless shelters, community service events, or fundraisers for charities.
DHS students that are part of the Humanitarian Project are able to help out around their own town and give back. Members have gone to The Village in Duxbury and other local senior centers, where they get to directly see the people they are impacting.
The Humanitarian Project helps people not only in Duxbury, but in Boston and other major cities suffering from unpredicted crisis’. Last year, Caetlin and members of her club raised money for International Relief and Habitat for Humanity after the brutal hurricane season. The Humanitarian Project has also gone to Rosie’s Place, a women’s homeless shelter in Boston, and The Greater Boston Food Bank.
Seeing the reaction, the gratitude and the appreciation on the faces of the people they help makes a difference for the members of the Humanitarian Project. When they go to homeless shelters and meet the women and children who they are helping, something changes. Raising money or goods is no longer a faceless cause, it is personal.
“The world is bigger than Duxbury. If you have the ability to help – do it. I think that is what makes a lasting impression,” said Caetlin.
The members of the Humanitarian Project don’t only make a difference in the lives of those they help, but they contribute to the positive environment of our high school, our town and our world.
Thankfully, they don’t stand alone. Many other clubs in DHS have a similar focus as Caetlin and the Humanitarian Project. The Helping Hands Club advised by Mrs. Sprague for example, is another powerful community service club in DHS that deserves recognition.
The Helping Hands Club works to help mostly local causes on the South Shore. At least once a month, members of the club will go somewhere in need of help. In the past they have gone to the Standish Humane Society, Black Tie Bingo events at a local senior center, and the Duxbury Half Marathon. Mrs. Sprague, who has been the advisor of the Helping Hands Club since the beginning, said that, “we go and help with whatever we can. Whether that may be a book / supply drive or a fundraiser.”
Mrs. Sprague agreed with Caetlin O. in the fact that the feeling of gratitude you get from helping other people never gets old. “When you help once, you want to do it again. The feeling of gratitude you get can’t be duplicated any other way,” said Sprague.
Most people in DHS, whether they be teachers, students, coaches or staff, can agree that helping out when you can is important. Sprague said it perfectly, “When you have things, it’s important to pay it forward. True happiness comes from helping others.”
Philanthropy makes a person good and it makes a town great. If we all work together, and join those who are already making a difference, imagine just how beautiful the world could be.
Image by Caetlin O. taken after the Humanitarian Project raised $4,100 for Puerto Rico last year.