Key club is key to the holiday season

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Members from Key Club help an elementary school student pick out a toy at Target. Key Club organized the Shop-with-a-Chief project last year during the holidays to share the holiday spirit with low-income students.

As the elementary students pick out toys from Target, pure happiness radiates from their faces because they know that they will be able to exchange gifts with others, like most do around the holidays. This is all thanks to Key Club.  

Key Club is a service club that focuses on coordinating projects to impact the student body as well as the community. Sponsor Ms. Kim Bremer first started up the project three years ago to help a student with their senior project. 

This club is unique in that it does not require members to have a certain number of service hours. Instead, students must lead at least two service planning projects. Bremer enjoys seeing self-motivated students initiate projects. 

“[The most rewarding experience is] watching students grow and develop a love of service,” Bremer said. “I love working with the students and watching them get a true understanding of how service impacts individuals.” 

This approach to community service is what led senior Marko Petrovic to join during his sophomore year. As president this year, Petrovic organizes meetings, plans service projects, and delegates different leadership roles to members of the club.   

While this position has many responsibilities, Petrovic does not lead alone.  

“I don’t just stand up during our club meetings and say, ‘this is what we’re going to do,’” Petrovic said. “I really try to get people in the club to speak up and be active members. [I don’t] simply let the president take over the role of deciding what we do and how we do it.” 

Collaborative efforts are important to carry out successful projects. During the club’s first year, members participated in the Angel House Project, a foster care system for girls.  

“As a club, [we] went and decorated rooms, painted [rooms], [and] put up furniture,” Petrovic said. “Essentially, [we] gave these girls a place to live that they wouldn’t have had otherwise.” 

Last year, Key Club organized Shop-with-a-Chief, in which students acted as mentors to go gift shopping at Target with low-income kids from Hickory Flat Elementary School. This was free of charge for the students. Back at Sequoyah, students wrapped the presents while the kids enjoyed holiday festivities such as food and music.  

“It’s a really great time to show some holiday spirit to these younger kids that may not experience that at home because of their financial situation, giving them the ability to have what we define as a normal holiday time,” Petrovic said. 

This year, the club plans to organize the same project. Currently, they are holding a clothing drive to benefit Ukrainian refugees in Clarkson County, Georgia. They will be collecting coats, pants, scarves, and other articles of clothing up until Friday, Nov. 15.  

The people in this club all share the same passion: serving others. Junior Riley Mclure, vice president of the club, cites this as one of her favorite aspects of the club. 

“It is fulfilling to see all the people at our school that love leading through service,” Mclure said. 

Petrovic believes that the solidarity between members is especially important to impacting society.  

“Everywhere you go, you’re going to have the whole club standing up behind you, and you’re always going to have people to help you when you’re volunteering; that’s the biggest part about [the club],” Petrovic said.  

From small to big projects, Key Club has undoubtedly benefited others within the community while breeding leaders within the school. The club members wish to continue these lasting effects.  

“I hope we make a difference in our school’s attitude and willingness to serve others,” Mclure said. “I also hope this club helps make service leaders that we need in our society.” 

Petrovic agrees with Mclure’s vision for the club.  

“I hope that we can continue to make the same strides that we’ve done in the past few years,” Petrovic said. “As year and years go on, [I hope] that Key Club continues to make Sequoyah a better place and Cherokee County a better place.”