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Scotus promotes giving back

September 28, 2018

Students at Scotus Central Catholic High School are expected to complete at least 110 hours of community service in order to graduate.

“To my knowledge, we’ve had everyone complete the requirement,” said Kelly Koranda, religion teacher and service coordinator of Living the Faith program at Scotus Central Catholic High School in Columbus.

Through the program, Koranda said she helps students meet their required hours annually. Students in seventh and eighth grades have to complete 15 hours each, while students in grades nine through 12 have to complete 20 hours annually. Koranda said the majority of students oftentimes exceed required hours prior to graduation.

Koranda said students have the option to volunteer for the community, school or churches, with the condition of allocating at least three hours to each category annually.

In the past, Koranda said students successfully met their requirements by attending summer service trips, volunteering throughout the year at nonprofit organizations, such as United Way and Simon House, as well as nursing homes and the Columbus Public Library.

“I think it’s important for the students and the community,” Koranda said. “Part of being a good member of society is being able to give back to the society and community you live in.”

Koranda said the program serves the community well with several individuals and nonprofit organizations reaching out seeking volunteers to help move or sort out donations.

“It works amazing,” said Lucy Lutjelusche, store manager and director at Simon House, a local nonprofit organization committed to helping those in need by supplying them with basic needs, which include clothing, toiletries, paper goods and diapers.

Last year, Lutjelusche said there was more than 250 local youth, with the majority consisting of Scotus students, who volunteered at Simon House. Throughout their experiences, volunteers learn the donation process, help sort donations, assist patrons by unloading items, steam clothing to ensure they are sanitary before hitting the racks and pick up leaves during the fall.

“Simon House wouldn’t be the Simon House today if it were not for our volunteers,” Lutjelusche said.

Since volunteers are oftentimes the backbones to many nonprofit organizations, Lutjelusche said the program helps bring awareness to local youth on the different resources available within the community. She said volunteers ensure establishments provide optimum service.

“We are supported by the community, so being able to give back is great,” Lutjelusche said.

With volunteers learning the ropes at Simon House, Lutjelusche said she hopes more youth will keep the organization in mind when they are wishing to donate items or volunteer.

The school also benefits from the program by having more volunteers help out during annual events like the Scotus Mothers Craft Boutique and its gala, which require a lot of manpower. Students can also accumulate service hours by tutoring students and helping teachers.

On top of keeping students active, Koranda said the program serves as a vehicle for them to live out and strengthen their faiths, in addition to passing along God’s message.

“Overall, it’s really something that we see as a mission as part of a Catholic school,” she said.

Natasya Ong is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach her via email at natasya.ong@lee.net.

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