New MHS organization places service above self

Mike Talbott
Contributing Writer

What do more than 40 Monticello High School students, Monticello’s Rotary club and young moms in Honduras have in common? Interact, a new Monticello High School organization formed just six months ago, committed to serving others.
Interact is a service club model provided by Rotary International which allows high school students to organize to serve other people locally and around the world, like Rotary Clubs across the world.
Chris Kruse, a Monticello Rotarian, along with Tara Rosh at Monticello High School, brought the model to students several months ago to see if any would be interested.
More than 40 students responded enthusiastically. With Chris and Tara’s initial guidance, they set up Interact’s recommended organizational structure, elected officers and have since conducted organizational training, several fundraising events and service projects, one of which was a project by high school students called “The Sewing Project,” a name deemed more likely to attract students to help convert T-shirts into diapers for young moms in Honduras.
Interact leaders connected with The Christian Commission for Development through Tara and learned that some Honduran Hospitals were in desperate need for bandages and diapers which could be created from old T-Shirts
Last month, after collecting T-shirts, cutting, and sewing into appropriate sizes, Interact students were able to send a shipment of reusable diapers and bandages to be used by young mothers and nurses at those Honduran hospitals.
According to Chris, “These students are seeking  to become involved in helping with local and worldwide needs, without expecting anything in return … except the self-realization that they are doing something for someone who needs help, and by helping, they are helping make this world a better, more caring world.”
Tara added, “Unlike most H.S. student organizations, there are no entry requirements for joining Interact: No minimum GPA, no dues or fees, no faculty recommendations. In addition, there is no promise of scholarships or other benefit to the student members, except knowing they have made a difference in someone’s life, for which they may never be recognized.”
Tara, the high school’s Interact liaison, and Chris, Monticello Rotary liaison, said, “We are delighted that the local high school’s Interact club has already had some great project successes. Over the next several months, we see a real opportunity to help provide students additional growth in their leadership skills, expand their local, national, and global projects, and increase their engagement with other students and the local community.
As a next step in expanding their connections locally, our community will have an opportunity to meet Interact students at the Monticello Rotary Fish Fry, Friday March 1 at Pinewood school starting at 4:30 p.m. Interact students will be serving this local community by beverages at the event and will be available to tell you more about their experiences, or you can email Chris Kruse at [email protected] or Tara Rosh at [email protected] for more information.

Editor’s Note: Michael Talbott is a principal with JoyFul Noise Ministries