◆ Service efforts take on a whole new life amid pandemic.
As planning began for the 2020 Braves in Action Service Day, an event traditionally held the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, concerns were high.
“We talked about not doing it this year,” said Tyson Balls a SVHS teacher who helped to get the event organized. “That was the easy answer. I mean just with the logistics and adjustments we would have to make because of COVID we didn’t think a community service day was something we could pull off.”
Students and staff worked together to figure out what a service day might look like and what the students could do while keeping social distancing guidelines.
The result of this planning effort was a Braves in Action Service Day that will not soon be forgotten.
“We had kids just show up in droves to help with the different projects,” Balls said. “It was so amazing to see.”
The Braves in Action Service Day included firewood projects in Fairview, Auburn and Star Valley Ranch.
Students made lap quilts for care center residents.
Students also created music videos to share with care center residents, since the school choirs could not visit the centers to perform live.
A food drive at the school resulted in over 600 boxes of breakfast cereal being collected and distributed to the food banks in Star Valley.
Turkey dinners were boxes and delivered to 20 area families in need.
“In years past we made the pies and such for the food boxes,” Balls said. “We couldn’t do that this year. Everything had to be pre-packaged. But we were still able to put food boxes together and deliver them.”
Students made ornaments, assembled hygiene kits, cleaned up around the high school, decorated and wrote letters of appreciation to healthcare professionals.
According to Balls, the whole event turned out amazingly well.
“Braves in Action is such an amazing way for staff and students to interact with the community, to get outside of the classroom and be involved in something that makes a huge difference,” he said. “It’s good to get out and get involved and serve. We had to get creative with what we were able to do this year but it worked out really well.”
In all, more than 300 students chose to take part in the Braves in Action Service Day this year.
“Service is contagious,” said Balls. “And it really does make a difference. It’s a small thing that makes a big difference.”