Making Strides To Help Veterans

Kayla Schneider, News Editor

Community service has been required by the Bellmore Merrick Central High School District for over 20 years and this year, the AP College Board is requiring students enrolled in AP Government and Politics to engage in a civics project tied to the course’s framework. One of the community service projects suggested was the Senior Service Learning Project where students had the opportunity to work with seniors in Participation in Government and Senior Experience classes in an effort to raise money for the Homes for Heroes.

There are 18.2 million veterans in the United States. However, only about half are served each year by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. They provide health care facilities and benefits programs to America’s veterans. While this US agency is important and necessary for veterans, there are a large portion of veterans who are not given the services they require. That is where organizations such as Homes for Heroes comes into play. Homes for Heroes is an incredible organization that is committed to gifting mortgage-free homes to support the brave men and women who were injured while serving the country during the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. To date, the organization has helped 27,799 heroes and their families with financial relief, and the ability to lead a productive civilian life.

In the Mepham High School community, there were many initiatives, such as the Flag Field of Honor, Battle of the Classes, and individual donations, to raise money to gift Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Ryan Shannon a mortgage-free home.
Each event was a great way for the community to get together to reach a common goal. On October 28, the seniors got together to set up Mepham’s fourth annual Flag Field of Honor where they unboxed and placed over 300 flags outside the front of Mepham High School to honor American service men and women and veterans. Each flag was bought by families who wanted to honor someone who fought for the country, and all of this money went to Homes for Heroes. Senior, Raquel Cabrera says, “It was a wonderful experience where the senior class felt a sense of pride for joining together to show that the Mepham community cares about those who have served our great nation.”

Then, on November 8th, Battle of the Classes was held at Brookside which is an exciting event where all grades and staff participate in competitive games. Everyone was required to buy a t-shirt in order to participate, and all of these funds went towards Homes for Heroes.

Lastly, students fundraised by asking their families, friends, and peers to donate to the cause. In the end, the seniors’ efforts were successful, as they had raised over $15,000 and were able to gift Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Ryan Shannon a mortgage-free home.

What the seniors in Participation in Government, Senior Experience, and AP Government and Politics accomplished is extraordinary and they should all feel proud that they are making a significant impact on someone else’s life for the better. Everyone should take initiative and participate in community service to help and improve someone else’s life.