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Bob Jones council organizes workday at botanical garden

(RECORD PHOTO/JOHN ALLEN)
(RECORD PHOTO/JOHN ALLEN)

MADISON – Got dirt? The Bob Jones United Way Youth Council chaired a volunteer day at Huntsville Botanical Garden on March 8.

United Way of Madison County set a goal to involve numerous clubs countywide, Bob Jones chairman Alanis Craig said.

To encourage volunteers, the Bob Jones council distributed brochures and sponsor Nicole Coker contacted sponsors at other schools. “United Way also pushed the event in a volunteer website,” Craig said.

Initially, they met difficulties in arranging the type of project they wanted. The cold weather and snow prevented work in CASA gardens. “Our last-minute decision to ask Huntsville Botanical Garden was a lifesaver,” Craig said. “The volunteer coordinator was very accommodating.”

Workers from Bob Jones were Craig, Cassidy Elliot, Nick Sieja and Clara Wan. They completed numerous chores, such as painting, spreading pine straw and horticulture work in the children’s garden.

The workday is a component in United Way’s annual “Youth Invasion” to encourage teenagers to get involved in their community. The youth council for Madison County includes students from Bob Jones, James Clemens, Grissom, Randolph, Sparkman, Pope John Paul and Huntsville high schools.

Executive board members are chairman Alanis Craig, vice chairman Daniel Chen, treasurer Emma Pair, secretary Megan Plotka, volunteer coordinator Cassidy Elliot, outreach coordinator Christine Nguyen and media coordinator Rozhan Ghanbari.

At general meetings, the council completes a small service activity, such as making cards for hospice patients. Then, they cover the current treasury report and plans for fundraising, volunteer events and tours of agencies receiving United Way funds.

“Our club is still trying to integrate ourselves into Bob Jones again,” Craig said. “We’re small. Not many teachers or students know we are here … but we do play our part in the community.”

Bob Jones United Way Youth Council is in its 22nd year. Like the parent organization, Bob Jones’ council helps non-profit organizations dealing with education, health and income. The only membership requirement is filling out an application.

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