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Special to the Enquirer/Morgan County Animal Shelter A Hartselle Junior High student walks a dog at the Morgan County Animal Shelter as part of serve day.

Students on a mission

HJHS continues volunteer service tradition 

Hartselle Junior High students continued the school tradition of serving their community Sept. 3. A majority of students took to local organizations to help out during the virtual day at school. 

School counselor Rachel Groves said the event gives students a chance to give back to their community. This year is the third annual Serve Day, and it is a growing tradition at the junior high. 

“In the beginning we really didn’t know where to send them,” Groves said. “They went out and brought back reflections, and they would come back seeing all the needs there are around us. It really touched me to hear the big impact that they have.” 

Since the inaugural Serve Day, the number of partner organizations welcoming student volunteers had continued to grow. 

Partner organizations include the animal shelter, local churches, Clothe our Kids of North Alabama and more. 

In addition to allowing students to learn about some of the local needs in their community, Serve Day also teaches them valuable professional skills. 

Special to the Enquirer/Morgan County Animal Shelter
Students volunteer at the Morgan County Animal Shelter as part of the Serve Day with Hartselle Junior High.

When arranging the time to volunteer, the students make their own phone calls to learn how to speak to local businesses and organizations. “It gives them responsibility to step out on their own,” Groves said. 

Once students have volunteered, they briefly explain their experience in writing and acquire a signature or comment from the person they worked with during the day. Groves said the activity allows students to volunteer with an organization that they care about and learn a little more about the community. 

“It’s been so good for our students; they have learned so much,” Groves said. 

The school is also looking to build on its volunteer opportunities and have large groups visit local organizations in need. Groves said interested businesses or organizations can contact the school to schedule a time for volunteers.