Rush Week Club Spotlight: SHARK Club

Elizabeth (Izzy) Graziano, Senior News Editor

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During Rush Week last year, nearly one hundred girls signed up for the Sacred Heart Acts of Random Kindness, or “S.H.A.R.K,” club, an organization moderated by Mrs. Coughlin, which presents girls with the opportunity to raise awareness for various life issues within and beyond the Sacred Heart community and improve the lives of their peers and neighbors. As a club first offered in 2013, S.H.A.R.K club, which welcomes students of all backgrounds and grade levels, blends some of the key aspects of the former Respect Life club with those of the former Friends of Rachel club, an organization that provoked students’ desire to treat others with kindness and respect, while bringing hope to situations of despair within the community. At the past meetings of the S.H.A.R.K club, girls collected close to seventy items for the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry of Buffalo, as each meeting serves as a collection date for high-demand products within the community, including hygiene products, clothing, and whatever else there seems to be a need for at that particular time. As the group’s first major service project, Sam Zilliox, a sophomore, taught the girls how to make chaplets and rosaries from colored twine, some of which she sends to overseas soldiers and others which she sells to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that raises awareness for the needs of injured service members, while helping the recovering soldiers themselves aid and assist one another, and offering programs and services designed to meet the needs of wounded troops. Additionally, in past years the girls of S.H.A.R.K club shared joy by writing positive and inspirational messages on Post-It notes and then using them to decorate the walls, lockers, and bathroom mirrors throughout SHA, a project intended to bolster self-confidence and brighten stressful days within the Sacred Heart community. During the past holiday seasons, the members of the S.H.A.R.K club have wrapped Christmas presents for St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy, one of Buffalo’s independent Roman Catholic Missions, and decorated cookies at Cornerstone Manor, a facility that offers emergency shelter for up to sixteen single women and five families seeking housing or refuge from an abusive relationship, in addition to a two-year resident recovery program for up to twelve families and forty six single women. Moreover, members of the club want to raise money to send everyone at Sacred Heart a flower on Valentine’s Day, to ensure that all members of the SHA community feel loved and appreciated, regardless of their relationship status. Furthermore, the S.H.A.R.K club has organized a “Bottles for Babies” money collection for the Harvest House of Buffalo, where the funds raised go towards much needed items including cribs, car seats, socks, and underwear, and has held a gently used clothing collection for Nicaragua Mission Project, which encourages those who “have” to reach out to those who “have not” with generosity and concern. Anyone who is interested in joining or assisting with one of the service projects should contact Mrs. Coughlin in the library, or via email.

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