Acts of kindness in Claremont: CHS students helping the community

The world has had to constantly adjust to the unexpected coronavirus pandemic. During these times when uncertainty and fear have risen, acts of kindness can mean so much as they spark joy and hope in others. Amid the fear and confusion during these unprecedented times, hope, support, and benevolence have been shown through the actions of students in the community.

Junior Eila Planinc has helped others during this pandemic by distributing homemade masks to those in need as part of her Creative, Action, and Service (CAS) project, a community-based service project for the IB program. It all began when she first made masks for her family. From that point she realized that she could expand and make more for the community, making the perfect project to give back.

While making masks for about a month, Planinc developed an efficient process. She receives mask requests through a Google form, which determines how many masks she will need to make. Planinc then assembles them by sewing light, breathable fabrics together and adding elastics. Finally, she washes and sanitizes the masks, packs them into bags, and makes deliveries by the next day. So far she has already completed 37 orders and has made around 115 masks.

Planinc recognized the impact of COVID-19 on the community and how giving can spread positivity. She shared what she has gained from this experience and what it means to her to provide security and promote safety.

“I’ve gained a real sense of community,” Planinc said. “Every time I get a message or a text saying, ‘Thank you,’ I get so happy that I could help someone to be safer during this time. It’s nice to provide someone a feeling of safety in a time when that might not be the norm anymore.”

CHS’ Key Club has also made differences in the lives of others through transforming canceled volunteering events into meaningful opportunities to give back. CHS sophomore and Key Club President Lyna Bui, alongside CHS freshman and Key Club Event Coordinator Ryan Thom, collaborated to create a volunteer opportunity where members could send in digital or handmade get-well cards that would be sent to COVID-19 patients.

The inspiration behind the letters was the large sum of people whose lives have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Bui and Thom recognized the impact of this global pandemic and were inspired by the doctors and nurses who have risked their lives for the health of others. Similar to these health care workers, volunteers could also support patients in their own unique way.

“My goal is to bring hope and happiness to patients who need the reminder that they are not alone,” Bui said. “I wanted to encourage Key Club and community members to do the same and spark positivity in a miserable time.”
Many participants took part in the service as the club received numerous card submissions. The uplifting event gave support to those in need and hopefully inspired others to take part as well.

“This event was important to me because I really believe that during this situation is when we should be helping our community the most,” Thom said. “We are all going through a situation no one had expected, so being able to help people and make someone’s day a little better is what makes these community service opportunities so rewarding.”

During this time where many people need positivity in their life, taking part in any simple and kind actions can make a significant difference. In today’s uncertainty, acts of benevolence unite community members together and are a reminder that no one is alone. Kindness often costs little, yet its value is immeasurable.