Helping From Home

Filled with joy, one student was ecstatic at the results yielded by his efforts to help his local community.

Each Semester, English IV teachers Brian VanDerlaske and Emily Scott assign a “Kindness Project” in which students must complete three acts of kindness and document them to present to their peers at a later date. Students can perform an endless variety of tasks within a certain, self picked theme. While safety is stressed, there is no real limitation – other than one’s own imagination – to what students can do. One student in particular chose to go far in his completion of this assignment, one act standing out among his other acts.

Senior Benjamin Molk chose to center his acts of kindness around volunteer work. His first two acts would be to serve at the Catholic Parish and Oak City Outreaches in Raleigh, both of which provide resources from clothing to food for the needy.

“I really wanted to have a captivating story to tell,” Molk said. “After some brainstorming, I came up with the theme of helping those who are less fortunate. What better way to do that then volunteering and contributing to help those that are in need?”

Molk greatly enjoyed his time serving at the food pantries and would love to volunteer there again. The act that stood out, though, was his third. For his final act of kindness, Molk chose not to volunteer at an already established food outreach, but to instead make his own.

Molk knew he wanted to “start something”, but as it was his first time setting up something like a food drive, he wanted to avoid making it too big, so that it would not get out of hand and prove difficult to manage.

“My thought was a food drive in my neighborhood would be perfect,” Molk said. “It gives to those who are in need and is easy for me to initiate.”

Going in, Molk was unsure of the results his drive would yield. Even so, he didn’t let that deter him.

“I had high hopes for the food drive just based on how people reacted to the idea,” Molk said.

He initially yielded no growth, though it would not be long until there would a surplus of donations, which stopped after about a week, where he would take all he had collected the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. Molk experienced much exuberance at the results.

“On the the third night when I went out to check my donation box, there were so many donations that it didn’t even fit in the box,” Molk said. “I couldn’t believe my eyes!”

Molk finds that volunteering or creating your own way of providing for the needy is a great way of giving help. He hopes others will consider volunteering or starting services of their own to help the less fortunate side of the community, and that they themselves might be able to gain something personal from it.

“I would hope that everyone would go out and give volunteering a try or get creative and start something of their own, because it really is a remarkable experience,” Molk said.

Molk intends to continue hosting food drives of his own in the future.