The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

Partnering+with+the+Chin+Youth+Organization+of+Indiana+and+the+Great+Harvest+Food+Pantry%2C+the+Southport+International+Rotary+Club+provides+free+groceries+to+the+Burmese+and+Congolese+community+on+Jan.20.++%0APhoto+contributed+by+the+Southport+International+Rotary+Club+Facebook
Partnering with the Chin Youth Organization of Indiana and the Great Harvest Food Pantry, the Southport International Rotary Club provides free groceries to the Burmese and Congolese community on Jan.20. Photo contributed by the Southport International Rotary Club Facebook

Service beyond the classroom

Southport International Rotary Club encourages student participation

Giving back to the community is a big deal for Southport International Rotary Club member, John Thawnghmung. Being a part of the club has presented him with more opportunities to volunteer, and he invites SHS students to make a difference in the community

“What you share with the community is much more meaningful than what you do to earn money,” Thawnghmung said.

As the Chin population in Indiana, especially the Southport area, rises, organizations, such as the Rotary Club, step up to help immigrants and those in need.

The Southport International Rotary Club has over 1.4 million members. Members of the club are dedicated to helping the community surrounding them whether it be by providing basic necessities or fighting for causes.

Every year, the club attends many food banks, and every third Saturday of each month, they host a food pantry for those in need.

“Rotary provides 47 million volunteer hours annually (and) more than $300 million for global service annually,” Thawnghmung said.

The club first started in Indiana in 2012 and has grown immensely since then. A grant from the Indianapolis Rotary Foundation has allowed the club to help more people. 

“(We) encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and advance goodwill and peace around the world,” Thawnghmung said

The club also offers a scholarship for $500 that high school students in Perry Township can apply for.

Previous member Danielle Grehn joined Rotary club to give service to those in need and to meet like minded people who would help her reach her volunteer goals.

“I think even just as a community member, it’s good to be a part of a rotary organization.” Grehn said.

Perry Meridian High School has recently started the youth version of Rotary Club at their school and Grehn encourages Southport to follow suit.

“I would love to see it here in Southport,” Grehn said, “ … I think that having the Rotary Club open a youth organization here would be a positive thing.”

Thawnghmung has noticed recently that the number of members in the Rotary Club has started to dwindle. This has caused members to begin focusing on the growth of the club.

“We want more membership because (the) more we are, the more we can volunteer and the more money we can donate,” Thawnghmung said.

Although Thawnghmung is unaware of any high school students being involved, there are still possibilities for student involvement. 

Joining the club could offer students opportunities and help them forge connections they might not otherwise have access to. 

“The more people you can work with, the more your arm is extending more and more,” Thawnghmung said.

Thawnghmung encourages more students to volunteer and contribute to the community by following in Perry’s footsteps and bringing Rotary to Southport, or by just going out and volunteering for the community.

If any student is interested in joining the club, Thawnghmung suggests attending one of the meetings to understand its purpose better and determine if it aligns with their interests.

“If we don’t know, we might miss out on what we really enjoy doing,” Thawnghmung said.

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About the Contributor
Elisabeth Pointer, Culture Reporter
Hi! I’m Elisabeth Pointer. I’m a junior, and this is my second year writing for culture. I never took a journalism class, but after learning about journalistic writing and how to do it, I have really started to love it. I’m a competitive gymnast and have been doing gymnastics for over 10 years. I also coach little kids at my gym to help them with their gymnastics career. I really like animated shows such as “Steven Universe” and “Gravity Falls.” My favorite color is purple, and my favorite animal is a seal. A close second place would be cats. I have a cat named Sassy and a dog named Blair. I have a little brother named Gabe who is in eighth grade. I’m very passionate about school, and my GPA and grades are some of my biggest achievements. I eventually want to major in plant biology and/or molecular genetics. My dream is to become a genetic engineer and to work on creating new medicines in the future.

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