The UHS CommuniCare Committee has made progress on their work for the 22-23 year. The new student group at Umatilla High School is hoping to make a difference in the community while learning some skills along the way. The group of about 18 students is being led by chair Kaidan Blair, UHS Senior.
The group is organized through CommuniCare Oregon (www.communicareor.org). According to the organization’s website, the foundation “believes there should be opportunities for young people to create change. The CommuniCare program provides an environment where young adults will learn about the needs of their community and develop leadership skills through grantmaking.”
UHS CommuniCare decided to focus on opportunities for youth, especially young people who may not be able to afford activities in their school or community. The group started raising money in the fall with a school Hat Day (where students paid $1 to be able to wear a hat at school, usually prohibited by the school dress code), a Halloween Haunted House and a Penny War, which culminated in a teacher getting a pie in the face at a school assembly. “We have had some really fun activities to raise the $750 we needed to raise,” said Kaidan.
Since they raised $750, it will be matched up to $15,000 by CommuniCare Oregon. UHS CommuniCare has received grant applications from six local nonprofit organizations and are working to secure one more.
Quinn, UHS Senior and member of CommuniCare, said it’s pretty nice to be on the side of awarding the grants, instead of in an organization asking for funds, which can be stressful. “It’s also rewarding to think about making an impact on the community where you grew up,” Quinn said.
Blair said it has been interesting to review the grant applications and learn about nonprofits in the area and see the goals and projects they want to have funded. CommuniCare will choose the grant recipients in April.