One of the goals of the Right Path for Washington County is to promote healthy youth development through a variety of strategies, one being opportunities for community service. Research tells us that it doesn't matter whether community service is a choice, court ordered or required for school or service club, at the end of the day we still take something positive from the experience. Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best: "No man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself."
I have had the privilege of working with Marietta High School's SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) under the guidance of Advisor Teresa Morrison. These students have taken on many projects to benefit our community over the years including food drives. This year they chose two projects, playing secret Santa to two residents of a local nursing home and a food drive and dodge ball tournament to benefit the Gospel Mission food pantry. "Let's dodge hunger" was our theme and SADD members from each grade level were responsible for recruiting fellow classmates to play, with the winning seniors receiving a large golden wrench, designed by a fellow student. "If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball" held true and even school Principal Mr. Lee and fellow teachers got into the spirit in a short game to wrap up the event. Teachers sweetened the deal by giving bonus points to students and they really got into the spirit of giving. The food drive took on a life of its own resulting in the collection of 9,000 cans and non-perishables. In addition, a $1 admission to the game, netting $400, will allow the pantry to purchase additional items to stock their shelves.
The Right Path will continue our effort to assist our 11 food pantries and the Harvest of Hope with our third annual Righditarod, The Right Path's race against hunger, on Saturday, March 2. Teams of five will pick a theme, decorate a shopping cart and don a costume to reflect it, and race through the streets of Marietta all in the name of fun for a serious cause. This is one event you won't want to miss.
Like The Right Path on facebook and find out more about our upcoming fundraisers and our race against hunger.
Cathy Harper is coordinator of The Right Path for Washington County, a United Way organization.