The George C. Marshall community knows that the saying “It takes a village to raise a child” is true, and we appreciate the continuing support of our neighboring business and community members. During this season of giving, the George C. Marshall PTSA would like to share with the public the many ways that our students give back to the community.
Annie Bryan, 2014 Class Officer and Octagon Co-President reports:
Marshall Student Government Association and the Junior Optimist International “Octagon” Club are teaming up for a fundraiser to collect gift cards for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. These donated cards are going to be sent to a sister school we have contacted in New York, Beach Channel High School, and are to be distributed to students and their families for the holidays. Many of the students lost their homes and belongings to the storm and are preparing to face some cold winter months ahead.
Octagon, Student Government and the Marshall community are excited to reach out to these victimized families during the holiday season and hope for as much participation as possible to spread some holiday cheer and make a difference.
Optimist International is a worldwide organization that encourages optimism and promotes charitable events, and Octagon clubs are the junior version. Our club follows the international mission statement, which is "By providing hope and positive vision, optimists bring out the best in kids." We host charity events and run fundraisers and drives to reach out to the community with a positive attitude.
English teacher James MacIndoe coordinated a coat drive for Hunter Mill Coat Closet, care of Helios HR in Reston. This fundraiser started with a notice on a neighborhood listserv in DC asking for winter coat donations, and ended with GCM students donating 6 boxes of gently used winter coats, hats, scarves, and gloves. The donated outerwear will be distributed to victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Rana Attia, of the GCM Rank & File reports that the GCM Red Cross Club also promotes the importance of giving blood in the community in an interview with the club sponsor:
Sponsor of Red Cross club, technology and entrepreneurship teacher Helen Schaefer: “every time a person donates… one unit of blood it can save three lives.” “Last year we probably collectedtwo hundred and fifty units.” “I decided to become the Red Cross club sponsor because I regularly donated in the past, but I have had cancer two times so now this my way of donating.” All these blood donations will benefit the INOVA Fairfax hospital.
Marshall’s DECA organization sponsors “Keep Calm and Honor On” event:This project benefits Concerns of Police Survivors, an organization that helps children who have lost a parent in the line of duty. Related events have included games, bake sales, a speech by a state trooper, a helicopter landing on school grounds, a visit by an FCPS bomb squad dog a police motorcycle, and others.
The GCM Octagon Club continues to give back:
Club sponsor and GCM teacher Julie Veenstra, reports that this past Sunday, 12/16/12, about 40 Octagon Club members (and some of their family members too!) met at Howard University to volunteer at the Dreams for Kids sponsored Holiday for Hope event. While awaiting the arrival of the children, Marshall students helped to wrap nearly 1,600 donated gifts. Once the children arrived, Marshall students paired up with them to provide one-on-one attention and ensure that every kid had an amazing holiday celebration.
Hundreds of homeless and underprivileged children participated, and shared a spectacular day of food, live performances, games, arts and crafts projects, dancing with a dj, bowling,and gifts. This was the fourth annual celebration held in Washington DC, and Octagon Club's second time participating.
GCM in-school holiday cheer:
Marshall students also spread the holiday spirit within the school. The Marshall literary magazine, Reveille, conducted a Candy Gram event, which allowed students to send cutely decorated candy canes along with a short card to their classmates.
So thank-you Marshall community,for your continued support of our school and the part each and every one of you play in the growth of our students. Happy Holidays and best wishes for a safe and peaceful New Year!