MHS organizations joining forces to promote a season of giving

Srinidhi Valathappan | The Chronicle

All for one, and one for all.

Every year,  Students Involving and Befriending Students (SIBS), Student Government (StuGo) and National Honor Society (NHS) each typically run a week-long independent charity fundraiser. The three clubs plan their own incentives and organize their respective members, but this time, they’re pooling their efforts to make a greater impact, joining forces for the inaugural Mason High School (MHS) Season of Giving fundraiser.

The united fundraiser was prompted after advisors and students realized it would make it easier for community members to focus their donations toward a combined initiative. Senior Dylan Wang is a SIBS board member and is involved with much of the planning behind Season of Giving. Wang said that by joining forces, the clubs also realized they could improve the incentives they were offering, and encourage more students and community members to donate more towards their $25,000 goal.

“This is different because it’s all one collective effort,” Wang said. “It’s not just the incentives that we’re trying to make bigger and better. We’re trying to show that we as a school can come together.” 

Each classroom is led by a trio of students from each organization who promote the causes, setting class goals and incentives as they collect donations. Rather than individual asks, Wang said a group of classroom leads can better spread a message of unity.

“Instead of just working with just SIBS members we already know, we get to work with new people,” Wang said.” It’s pretty cool. We get to talk about all these cool places students can support, and we get to do it together.”

The first week of Season of Giving highlights SIBS and its fundraiser for the Mason Food Pantry, which is one of the only client-based food pantries in the nation. Junior Arunima Rao, a SIBS member and classroom lead in Season of Giving, stresses the importance of giving back to the Mason community by raising money for the food pantry. 

“Just $1 of a student’s money can go towards $7 of food,” Rao said. “And chances are, it’s someone you know. It’s a cause very close to home.”

StuGo’s fundraiser for Joshua’s Place, previously known as Kids Count, is the main focus of the second week. Joshua’s Place provides meals and essentials to Mason families living in poverty and aims to end the cycle of poverty in this area.

Junior Vivian Chang is the Student Body Treasurer of StuGo and oversees StuGo’s Season of Giving committee as well as handles B2 class collections as a pod leader. She said that it is vital for each classroom lead to clearly communicate the importance of each of these causes in an empathetic manner, echoing Rao on the local impact of the causes.

“It’s important for every student in the class to understand why these causes are meaningful,” Chang said. “You never know who in your class will benefit from these organizations.”

The final week of Season of Giving is centered around NHS’ fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). LLS is the largest research fund for cancer cures and also provides support to families of children with blood cancer.

Senior Moyo Ogunfayo is an NHS member and a classroom lead for Season of Giving. She stressed the importance of remembering the people behind the monetary goals.

“Sickness can have the power to drain someone of hope,” Ogunfayo said. “So hopefully we can raise enough to bless someone and give them a little more hope.”

To further promote the donations, the clubs have planned several schoolwide and classroom incentives, including a school lip dub if students raise $25K by the end of the three weeks. Senior Jodie Topich explained that the incentives were another way to unite the student body and increase enthusiasm for the event.

“We hope to see more enthusiasm from all the students,” Topich said. “Just getting everyone really hyped because this a huge event, and these causes are really great.”

The fundraiser is also uniting students between clubs, encouraging them to learn about the other charities being supported as well.

“Whether it’s Joshua’s Place or LLS or the Food Pantry, this fundraiser showed us [that] giving is not isolated,” Ogunfayo said. “It’s something that all of Mason can rally around as a whole.”

Working with other students can make it more comfortable to ask for monetary donations. Freshman Lucas Joseph is an executive member of StuGo and is part of StuGo’s Season of Giving committee. He said that he appreciates being able to work with students from other clubs, using it as a chance to improve his confidence and public speaking skills.

“I’m not the best public speaker, but [the other members] have helped me out a lot,” Joseph said. “Working with them has been really great.”

The combined fundraiser will not only benefit the chosen charities but also serve as a testament to the power of unity among the students of MHS. Ogunfayo said that this collaborative effort is a clear example of how teamwork and shared purpose can create positive change in our community.

“We’re not just trying to raise money,” Ogunfayo said. “We’re raising hope.”