Every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m., students from the Community Service Class at the Scioto County Career and Technical Center volunteer their time at the Portsmouth Salvation Army.
Students at the Career and Technical Center are not required to take the Community Service Course, but many opt in.
“The class is offered to seniors in their second semester. The class runs from January through May, and this year I have about 40 students,” said instructor Denise Coldiron.
The Salvation Army helps feed, clothe and shelter those in need.
Each week, six of the 40 students leave the SCCTC to go out into the community and help. The students take turns rotating who stays behind and who goes out, so they all get a chance to serve.
This week, students Veronica Moniger, Brittany Pate, Jason King and Kristin Crace helped volunteer Jim Calder in the kitchen.
The students helped to prepare the meal, working like an assembly line, portioning the food onto plates.
They then serve the plates to visitors dining in, or they wrap them for those who wish to take their meals on the go.
“Last Wednesday when the students were here, they served almost 100 plates of food, 92 to be exact,” said Calder. “The students are a big help, we couldn’t do it without them. I hate when they have to miss and when they’re out of school and they have to leave, I have to find someone to fill that Wednesday spot and it’s hard to replace them.”
In addition to the kitchen work, students Dallas Dyer, and Steven Boggs spent their afternoon assisting workers in the Salvation Army thrift store.
Dyer and Boggs helped to sort inventory, package it, price it and organize the store.
“It really does feel good to help, it makes you feel proud to help the community out and help people in need,” said Dyer.
In addition to their work at the Salvation Army, the students have assisted at Sierra’s Haven, a local no-kill animal shelter and other service projects throughout the area.
“I think this class makes them aware of the community and the people who need our help, it helps them to become more caring and compassion individuals. The school gives them the working skills, and this class gives them the people skills. It helps them to realize they can make a difference and try to do good in the community,” said Coldiron.