Service clubs spread holiday cheer

December 8, 2008 — by Kevin Mu and Anna Shen

Service clubs at Saratoga High, including Key Club, Interact, California Scholarship Federation (CSF) and Amnesty International (AI) are doing charity work for the holiday season.

Key Club, Interact and CSF will collaborate for their biggest annual holiday event on Dec. 13 —Caroling for Cans, which will occur in the afternoon. Members from the three clubs will walk around the golden triangle and sing Christmas carols, while asking for can or money donations. All money donations will be spent buying cans from a supermarket, which will be donated to the First Harvest Food Bank for the needy.

“Before, it was all competition,” said CSF co-president Theresa Yeh. “Now it is great to come together and be united.”

Key Club, the biggest service club on campus, will also participate in the Los Gatos Holiday Parade on Dec. 6. Members of the club will march along in the parade with their fellow adult Kiwanis, members of the non-profit organization Kiwanis International, which founded and sponsors key clubs.

“We show our spirit, and kind of tell Los Gatos that there’s a Key Club out there,” said Key Club project manager Jennifer Li.

Interact spread the holiday cheer this year with their annual candy sales. The club shifted its Halloween candy sales to the holiday season because it felt that it was more appropriate to sell Christmas-themed candy. All proceeds from the event will be sent to the HydrAid project in Panama, which raises money to provide filter devices to places with unsanitary water.

“Everyone always wants candy,” said Interact member Christy Chen. “It is a fun and effective way to raise money for a good cause.”

Members of AI, an international human rights club, will send their annual Christmas cards to prisoners of war and prisoners who are unjustly imprisoned. AI tries to get as many people as possible to sign cards with positive and optimistic statements such as “Hang in there” or “We’re fighting for you.” These cards will be sent to cheer up prisoners to perhaps lighten up their holidays and to let them know there are people pulling for them, that they are not forgotten.

“It’s hard to think that they’re in jail, and they’re not with their loved ones during this time,” said AI president Aditi Jayaraman. “It’s just our way of making them feel that there’s hope. We feel that the holidays are a time when everyone and anyone, regardless of where they are or what they have done, should feel happy, and it should be a joyful time.”

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