In a high school as prosperous as South, it can be quite a shock to hear that our spirit of “giving” is almost meager compared to the other communities in our district. To combat the lack of charity seen in the student body, South Eugene’s Student Government came up with an initiative called Axe of Kindness week.
“Axe of Kindness is an effort that was created by the entirety of Student Government to address the statistical finding that South Eugene High School is one of the most affluent schools [in our district], yet simultaneously the least charitable,” ASB President Zac Shakespear said.
Food drives at South are nothing new. Numerous attempts to increase student participation – usually for a greater cause – have failed, as students tend to avoid involvement in events planned by Student Government or teachers. This time, the South Student Government ensured that Axe of Kindness had more incentives that promoted student participation. With more student participation, South’s student government was able to gain more proceeds to donate.
“The proceeds from Axe of Kindness go directly to Axemen Angels, which was created last year to provide food directly to South’s families in need, especially those of students on free and reduced lunch,” Shakespear said.
Students often rely on food provided through the 4J free and reduced lunch program, which was created to ensure that students receive a healthy portion of meals during breakfast, lunch, and through Axemen Angels, dinner. The food donated to Axemen Angels always goes toward the food available for students to take home to their own families.
“There’s a significant population of kids who come to school on free and reduced lunch and receive free breakfast, free lunch, and need to take dinner with them, because they don’t have that food security at home,” Shakespear said. “The food pantry is meant to be equipped to fill that need.”
Axe of Kindness, which took place from Dec. 11 through Dec. 15, included several activities spaced throughout the week, ranging from a movie night to a puppy party. The SEHS Student Government put in a lot of effort for Axe of Kindness week which, judging from the widespread participation in the week’s activities, gained much more support than in the past.