“Service above Self”: A Look at RHS Project Interact

Every student can see traces of the Project Interact club as they walk through the school halls each day. The bulletin board remains a constant staple of the main office hallway, and simple poster notices promoting new causes are often visible throughout the year. But there is much more to this service club than meets the eye…

Project Interact, as a service club, does just that – provide service to community members in need of assistance. The motto “service above self” defines the drive of every member to care for others and put their utmost efforts into helping those around them. At weekly meetings, all the club members come together to debrief on upcoming events, fundraising opportunities, and make crafts to donate whether it is to veterans or hospital patients nearby.  

Besides that, Project Interact also branches out far into the Ridgewood community, outside of the comfort of the school walls. Students have the opportunity to sign up for shifts at community events like Downtown for the Holidays and assist the organizers with procedures and set up that is difficult to handle alone. Tasks can vary from simply setting up tables or booths to interacting with event goers to singing familiar carols to young visitors. Doing this is just one part of an effort to take the burden from neighbors that would have to juggle all of those activities independently otherwise. 

Project Interact is a great, easy way to give back to high school peers and Ridgewood. Because the club is connected to so many local organizations, there are a consistent number of events for students to participate in. 

Not available on weekdays? No problem – the club focuses its events on weekends in order to accommodate student schedules and workloads. 

Unable to devote large blocks of time to give back? That’s not an issue either, as Project Interact provides multiple shifts so members can still contribute their maximum effort in a shorter period of time. 

Contributing to a similar volunteer club or local organization? Project Interact would be glad to help coordinate hours or promote the club to the other members and increase manpower. 

The club is unique in its ability to bring so many students of many different interests and ages to one place to fulfill a common goal of helping others. They are often joined by long-time members of the Rotary Club and invite Though many clubs may hone in on specific specialities, passions, or academic areas, Project Interact is one of the few major clubs at RHS to dedicate itself to service of all kinds and not isolate itself to a certain interest group.   

Additionally, it is incredibly gratifying to see the impact the volunteers make on the community. After many events, it’s very common to have thank-you-letters come in to thank every member for their contributions in making each event successful. Being able to also see smiles on faces as the club donate funds to various causes – like Honor Flight – is always a shared joy amongst all members and leaders.   

It doesn’t hurt to explore, and if any student is looking for a simple way to give back, Project Interact’s doors are always open. 

Eugene Park
features editor

Graphic: Project Interact

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