NHS and FCCLA Spread Love To Those In Need This Valentine’s Day


Meghan Braddy, Copy Editor

Valentine’s Day came and went this year, and Griffith High School was able to spread some love and cheer to those who really needed it. Normally, the Student Council at Griffith High School takes this holiday very seriously and provides numerous romantic and friendly gestures for students to give to other students. This includes sending smooches, which are notes attached to lollipops where students can write heartwarming messages for their friends, and sending carnations to each other. These separate fundraisers help to support the Student Council, but is also a tradition at Griffith High School that students look forward to every year. This year was an exception for Griffith High School students, with this being one of the only years they weren’t able to live out these traditions by sending smooches and carnations to their loved ones. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Student Council felt it wasn’t safe for students to participate in these activities in order to decrease the amount of contact they would be having with each other when buying the smooches and carnations. This year, Student Council chose not to do anything for the students to celebrate this special holiday, but the FCCLA (Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America) and the NHS (National Honor Society) didn’t leave the students hanging. They flipped the script, and encouraged students within both of these clubs to instead do something nice for people in need. 

The FCCLA is a community service club within the FACS (Family and Consumer Sciences) department of the school that participates in numerous different fundraisers for the benefit of others. They’ve collected donations for animal shelters and police stations and have organized events benefiting the N.I.C.K (Northwest Indiana Cancer Kids) Foundation. They are apart of a student technical organization that offers intra-curricular resources and opportunities for students to pursue careers that support families. FCCLA members aim to make a difference in their families, careers, and communities by addressing important personal, work, and societal issues through Family and Consumer Sciences education. This is exactly what they did on February 3rd, 2021 when they organized their first service project of the year: making homemade Valentine’s Day cards for Children’s Hospitals. Each of the members of FCCLA got out their construction paper and markers and participated in creating Valentine’s Day cards with sweet messages and puns to help children staying in the hospitals feel a bit better about the situation they’re in. The purpose of this card making was to help these children feel loved and appreciated on a holiday that’s meant for giving and receiving love to others.

FCCLA sponsor, FACS department teacher Sara Jongsma said, “Valentine’s Day card making is one of my favorite things we’ve done together as a club this year, especially since it’s for such a great cause. I know the students, as well as myself, enjoyed creating cards and adding our own personal touches to them with the purpose of making children staying in the hospital feel a bit better than the day before. It made me feel happy when I saw all of the effort and love the students put into the cards to benefit someone else.” 

The NHS is another club that participates in service projects for the betterment of the community, and this year they also participated in creating Valentine’s Day cards for a different organization entitled, Phil’s Friends Indiana Hope Center. Phil’s Friends is an organization based out of Crown Point, Indiana that provides Christ-centered practical, emotional, and spiritual support and hope through the distribution of hand-assembled care packages to those affected with cancer, and consistent ongoing encouragement through their Cards of Hope program. Their Cards of Hope program is where NHS sponsors Cindy Leber and Diana Perez sent the homemade cards that each member of the honor society created for those affected with cancer. Two different dates in February were scheduled for card making, and every member who made a card received one service hour for their contributions towards a great cause. 

Junior and member of the NHS, Jacoba Babin, said, “I was excited when I found out that we were making cards for Phil’s Friends, because it’s a great organization that offers support to cancer victims in need. I created multiple cards using my own personal touch in order to make them look nice for those who would be receiving them.”

Valentine’s Day is not just a holiday for those in romantic relationships to celebrate, but also a day of spreading love and cheer to those who need it. The FCCLA and the NHS recruited students to give acts of kindness this Valentine’s Day instead of receiving it for themselves, and it resulted in various Valentine’s Day cards being sent from Griffith High School to those affected with cancer and sickness. It’s a small but admirable gesture that went a long way in order to make some strangers smile during a bleak time in their lives.