Students can take the opportunity to help their community by joining one of the four new volunteer clubs at FVHS. Illustration by Kailyn Thai.
Fountain Valley High School

New year, new volunteer clubs

Fountain Valley High School offers several clubs on campus that cater to all student interests. This year, over 20 new clubs were added, with a few being new volunteer clubs. If you’re a student interested in giving back to your school and community, one of these clubs may be the right one for you.

Kiva Finance

Students who are interested in fundraising and learning more about microfinance should consider joining Kiva Finance Club.

“Kiva Finance Club is based off the kiva.org website, which is a site that allows you to send funds for microfinance loans to people in need,” Kiva Finance president senior Ryan Nguyen said. “Much of the club involves gathering funds for these loans and donating to loan recipients through the website.”

At meetings, students engage in discussions about social issues through the lens of microfinancing.

“Our members participate in discussions about microfinance and how we can use it as a tool to fight back against many of today’s social issues, covering widespread issues and current events,” Nguyen said. “And each month, we choose a different theme of people to loan to, and club members may vote for which recipient to loan to.”

While K.F.C. is unable to host in-person volunteering and fundraising events at this time, they found alternatives so that students can earn service hours and so that the club could increase their funds.

“In face of the fact that many traditional, in-person volunteering and fundraising options are unavailable, we have adapted by adopting various donation-based and individualized service options in which third parties compensate us for our work,” Nguyen said. “For instance, we plan to hold a shoe drive alongside funds2orgs.com.”

Nguyen hopes students know that anyone can join the club and that they don’t need prior knowledge of finance to join.

“Those with an interest in exploring complex social issues and, more importantly, resolving them through the work we do at Kiva should definitely join,” Nguyen said. “If they’re scared by the “finance” part of K.F.C, they should not be deterred. As long as they’re willing to learn and work to improve their community and others worldwide, anyone can join.”

Kiva Finance meets on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. at this Zoom link. They can also be found on Instagram @fvkiva.

Save the Children

Students who are interested in educating, fundraising and advocating for children around the world may find that Save the Children is the perfect place for them.

“Save the Children works to provide funding and aid towards children nationally and internationally that do not have the same educational, medical, emergency response resources and basic necessities that most of us in the Fountain Valley area have,” Save the Children president senior Christy Chau said. “Our mission is to change the future of international children and serve as a voice for vulnerable kids around the world.”

Because it is difficult to volunteer as of now due to the pandemic, Save the Children offers a variety of virtual volunteering opportunities instead of in-person events to accommodate students who are looking into earning community service hours.

“Currently, we are running a new volunteer event called ‘Letters to Children’,” Chau said. “Members are able to write a card to a child nationally and internationally and give them encouragement that they’re not alone during this pandemic.”

Chau says that anyone who wants to make a difference in the lives of others should attend a meeting and see if they like what the club offers.

“If you’re interested in aiding children that need our help to have basic necessities in order to live, we’d love to have you in our club,” Chau said.

Save the Children meets on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. on Google Meet with the code fvstc. They can also be found on Instagram @savethechildrenfvhs.

Unified Sports Organization

If you’re a student who likes the idea of promoting social inclusion through playing sports, the Unified Sports Organization may be your calling.

Many young children with disabilities don’t usually get the opportunity to participate in their school’s sports teams. Unified Sports Organization provides a solution to this problem as it encourages students to join those with intellectual disabilities to train and play together on the field in inclusive sports.

“We collaborate with lots of Unified Sports Organizations to organize, attend and participate in Unified Sports Tournaments. Both students with and without intellectual disabilities are put onto a team to represent one school to compete for the gold,” Unified Sports Organization president senior Iann Nguyen said. “The goal of these competitions is to spread inclusivity and positivity on the field and campus.”

And because the pandemic makes it impossible for clubs to attend events, for the time being, Unified Sports Organization plans to have volunteering events that don’t require human contact so that members can have a chance to earn service hours.

“We [will] have volunteering events that ensure all our members are safe,” Nguyen said. “[These] can include writing letters to first responders, donating bags of used clothes, creating puzzles for children in hospitals, and so much more!”

Nguyen encourages anyone who loves athletics, competitions and helping the disabled to join Unified Sports Organization.

“Even if you’re not into these things, we still highly recommend joining our club,” Nguyen said. “It will give you once in a lifetime opportunities you don’t want to miss out on.”

Unified Sports Organization meets on Mondays at 1 p.m. on Google Meet with the code fvunified. They can be found on Instagram @fvhsunified.

WE 

If you’re a student who likes to volunteer and fundraise for a variety of causes and programs, WE club is the right club for you.

“WE Club is a volunteer and fundraising based club that is connected through a non-profit international organization called, WE,” co-president senior Alexis Ly said. “Through this organization, our club logs our volunteer service hours to them and also donate the money we fundraise to numerous programs that the non-profit organization holds.”

In addition to the volunteering opportunities that WE club offers, the club also has the chance to possibly attend “WE Day,” a huge event hosted by the organization at the end of the year where students listen to inspirational guest speakers, activists, educators and more.

“Near the end of the school year, the WE Organization holds a ‘WE Day’ with inspirational guest speakers and advocate speakers along with celebrities such as Oprah and Selena Gomez,” Ly said. “These seats at WE Day cannot be bought, they are earned through our club’s service hours.”

Ly and co-president Jake Tran are excited to announce that they have launched their first volunteer event of the year so that students have the opportunity to earn some service hours.

“Currently we have a Homeless Care Package event where our members can donate items that will be put into packages for a Homeless Shelter,” Ly said. “Jake and I moved this event up our calendar so that during time, our members would still be able to participate in a volunteer opportunity, safely, by giving back to the community and also to give these care packages to those in need especially during these circumstances.”

Ly advises students who are unsure if WE Club is right for them to take a chance and join.

“All types of students are welcomed to join WE Club. We are always ready and excited for whoever wants to join,” Ly said. “It does not matter if [you] are timid or outgoing, WE Club is here to support all types of students and help grow our members in any way possible.”

WE Club meets on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. on Google Meet with the code fvweclub. They can be found on their Instagram @fvhswe.