Community & Environmental Strive for Greatness

Briana Quiroga Flores, Editor

As Key Club International declares, “Caring is our way of life!” 

Thunderbird High School’s Outdoors Club and Key Club have gone above and beyond this year caring for the community and environment varying from treating people and the environment with kindness to actively participating in walkathons and 5Ks, raising awareness for important causes such as breast cancer, homelessness, and waste management.

For those of you who don’t know, “Key Club is a student-led organization that provides its members with opportunities to serve, build character, and develop leadership,” as well as friendships (keyclub.org). Its members actively stand for what they believe in through community service, positively impacting others in their schools and communities. 

Key Club at Breast Cancer Awareness 5K

From the beginning of the school year, Key Club members have actively given back to the community and performed acts of service. For example, in October, Key clubbers participated in Hurricane Harbor’s Walkathon, followed by Tempe Town’s Beach Breast Cancer Awareness Walk. Members did not only raise awareness for Breast Cancer and for giving back to the community, but they also fundraised and donated to both causes. 

Furthermore, November and December kept them even more busy as they worked hard giving thanks and giving back. For instance, in November, Key Club held its annual St. Mary’s Food Drive and raised thousands of dollars worth of canned food in addition to the cans donated. And a week prior to Thanksgiving, its members and club advisor, Mr. Vega, participated in North Phoenix Kiwanis’ Turkey Trot, in which they helped pack food and distribute it to those in need. One of their favorite events that they’ve participated in this school year was Adopt-A-Family. Its members were very much devoted to helping make others’ Christmas merry and bright as they selected two kids and spent over $100 on each child! Their adoptees consisted of a teen girl and of a female preteen. Its members donated two-three pairs of shoes, three-four outfits, and a variety of accessories: skincare, makeup, and bedroom essentials. An anonymous Key clubber notes that “participating in Adopt-A-Family was the perfect way to wrap up our first semester as it showed why it’s important to look beyond ourselves and meet the wants and needs of others’ who are unable to do so themselves.”

Key Club at Andre’s House

Key clubbers have been just as generous and productive this second semester. They have visited and volunteered at Andre’s House, a homeless shelter and food bank. Both times, they’ve gone straight after school and ended their day at around 8 pm. They’ve helped prep food and tables, as well as serve food and drinks to the homeless and clean up bathrooms and floors. One of Key Club’s officers expresses that “volunteering at Andre’s House may be a long day, but at the end of the day, it’s very rewarding to know that you’re making a difference in others’ lives. There’s really nothing like it.”

Key clubbers’ devotion and love for positively impacting others’ lives seems to only be getting stronger as time goes on. Their most recent event has been Birthday Party in a Box. They partnered up with Box of Balloons, an organization that helps put together birthday parties for low income families, and put together two boxes for two children of age four. Each box included party decorations, candles, tape, tableware, a gift, and a $10 gift card for cupcakes. As a result, they helped put a smile on the kids’ faces and had lots of fun making their birthday parties possible. Another one of Key Club’s officers states, “Birthdays and birthday parties are special occasions, and everyone, especially children, should enjoy them and be treated extra special on their big day. I am so glad our club secretary stumbled upon that site and put together this event. I hope we can do it again and much more often next year!”

Despite the school year quickly coming to an end, Key Club has got more events planned. They plan to go bigger and do better with Teacher Appreciation Week, Earth Day, and their end of school year Backpack Drive. 

Besides actively planning service projects and events, Key Club also specializes in building and strengthening bonds between students. It brings together its members for end of semester parties and holiday parties, as well as entertaining club bonding activities, such as going to the movies and eating out together. 

Key Club is always calling for leaders. If you want to meet new people, make new friends, build character and leadership skills, and participate in service projects, see Mr. Vega and join its hard working members and officers on Thursdays in room H-108! P.S. snacks and drinks are always provided!

Hiking Trail Cleanup

Similar to Key Club, Thunderbird’s Outdoors Club is another fun club that brings together students and their love for the outdoors. Together, they’ve hiked, kayaked, and ice skated. They’ve even visited the Herpetological Society and have conducted monthly service projects, which have involved cleaning up the Dixie Mountain Trail and Joe Clements Trail. An anonymous member of the club declares that “the Outdoors Club is so much fun! I love putting my love and devotion for a clean environment to use.” For every clean up they collect up to four bags worth of trash, improving the trail’s environment. To honor and reward their most active members, the Outdoors Club will be covering the food and transportation costs for their end-of-year trip to Flagstaff’s National Park.

Outdoors Club’s Hike

If you love nature and enjoy being outdoors, take a hike with the Outdoors Club and attend their meetings so that you can participate in future events. 

Key Club and the Outdoors Club have most certainly excelled and continue to excel in bringing students together, having fun, and positively impacting others and their communities. Cheers to Key clubbers and outdoorists!