By Jessica Debbas
SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — Hundreds of Springfield High School students took their work outside the classroom Friday and volunteered in community service projects all across the city.
“The whole point of “Day of Caring” is to get students engaged in the community, working with community members to give back, to kind of encourage volunteerism and sort of a civic spirit,” said special education teacher Tamara Hume.
There were 35 different ways to get involved.
Some students decided to spruce up the front of their school.
Others looking for a green thumb work out took up gardening at FOOD For Lane County’s Youth Farm.
“It’s really great to have a bulk of people to come put the plants in the ground,” said farm assistant Heather Rudich.
Plants like onions, celery and parsley will be cultivated then donated to the local food bank.
“There’s a lot of work that needs to be done at the beginning of the season and the end of the season, so the volunteer force is imperative,” Rudich said.
Then those trying to cool off soaked and scrubbed Springfield police patrol cars.
“(It) feels good because you know they’re out there helping us so to help them out with something,” said Gabriel De La Cruz.
But no matter where the call to action took them, not only did these students give back, they also got something in return.
“It helps them, too, because if they aren’t involved in other activities in school, they can be involved in something everyone is doing,” said Alondra Aguilar.
This is the 16th year Springfield High School has put together this event.
More than 700 students were involved both from Springfield High and Thurston High.