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Ames Helping Hands Extends its Reach Beyond Massapequa
Massapequa ninth graders learned about a local organization that helps people in need during a visit to the Island Harvest warehouse on Oct. 20. More than a dozen students from the Helping Hands Club at Massapequa High School’s Ames Campus also got to do some volunteer work on the trip.
Advisers Alyssa Levine and Nicole Reiss took 14 students to the warehouse in Melville. They spent four hours at the facility, learning about Island Harvest’s mission and how it relies on donations and volunteers. Students gained insight into the many services the organization provides, such as providing household items and toiletries, in addition to food. Then it was time to get to work.
The ninth grade volunteers made care packages of personal hygiene items that will be distributed to people in need across Long Island. Each bag included body wash, shaving cream and sunscreen. Collectively, Ames students made 688 packages.
“They worked really hard,” Ms. Reiss said. “They felt that they were part of something bigger. The students wanted more things to do and wished they could have stayed longer.”
Ninth grader Ashley M. said this was the first time she had heard of Island Harvest and was pleased to learn that organizations like this are around to help people. Assisting others is exactly why she joined Helping Hands.
“I enjoyed packing the items because it made me feel good to be helping people,” she said.
Sofia M. said visiting the Island Harvest warehouse was a great experience and it made her and her peers realize the value of giving back.
“I wanted to join Helping Hands because it’s always good to care for people and help people through tough situations in life,” she said. “It’s good to help, because one small thing can make a huge difference for someone.”
Helping Hands has several more charitable initiatives in the works. It is hosting a winter coat drive through Nov. 9. Students and staff can place new and gently used coats in a donation box in the Ames lobby, which will be given to New York Cares. The student service organization will also hold its annual pajama and book drive during the holiday season for children at Head Start in Wantagh.