Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

April 15, 2010

RHS National Honor Society brings a little joy to disadvantaged children

By Lailani Upham

Ronan High School National Honor Society students along with Sheriff Lucky Larson, tuned into CSKT Captain of Police Craig Couture as he thanked the students for conducting the toy drive and shares the importance of what a toy gift means to a child when a police department encounters a frightened little one during stressful domestic disputes. (Lailani Upham photo)
Ronan High School National Honor Society students along with Sheriff Lucky Larson, tuned into CSKT Captain of Police Craig Couture as he thanked the students for conducting the toy drive and shares the importance of what a toy gift means to a child when a police department encounters a frightened little one during stressful domestic disputes. (Lailani Upham photo)

RONAN — It was like Christmas. Toys galore were donated in March from folks across the valley to benefit St. Luke’s Hospital, the Lake County Sheriff’s office and the CSKT Tribal Police Department.

The toy drive was hosted by the Ronan High School National Honor Society to benefit children admitted to the hospital and for officers to disperse on scene, according to Heather Holmlund, Ronan High School Librarian. The toys collected were brought to the Ronan High School Library on Thursday, April 1 to present to local organizations.

The RHS National Honor Society set up drop-off boxes at Valley Bank and Ronan Community Bank, Harvest Foods, Mission Mart, and Pablo IGA, including the Ronan schools and Pablo Elementary and urged community folks and students to get involved in the effort to bring comfort to hurting children in Mission Valley.

Difficult situations arise when dealing when law enforcement removes children from a home; to help ease the transition, a toy given to a child is very important. “It bridges the gap,” said Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Police Captain, Craig Couture.

Sheriff Lucky Larson was present and thanked the students while expressing the importance of the toy drive. “When we have to go to a car accident and mom and dad are in there and the child is alone - there are times we have given a teddy bear to a child who would grab on to it and hold it. It helped. This is very important to us,” he said.

“The students were very happy with the turn out and are excited to see them get in the hands of the children in our valley,” said Holmlund.

The National Honor Society, or NHS, is a nationwide organization in the United States with many high schools chapters. Selection is based on four standards: scholarship, leadership, service, and character. The society also requires service to the community, school, or other organizations. The projects help students meet the required service hour total monthly. The NHS was founded in 1921 at The Fifth Avenue High School by Principal Edward S. Rynearson in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

National Honor Society groups are commonly active in community service activities both in the community and at the school. Many chapters maintain a requirement for participation in such service activities.

There are an estimated one million students who participate in activities of the NHS chapters in United States. NHS recognizes students for their accomplishments and challenges them to develop through active involvement in school activities and community service.

The community donated new and gently used toys from March 15 - 26. Items collected were children’s movies (DVD or VHS), board games, books and stuffed animals. Stuffed animals were the most sought after and received toy item.

RHS students on the NHS are: Shane Roberts, Alice Van Guten, Amber Metzger, Alex Dulmes and Abby Luke.

“Some kids never get a gift,” Couture said. He shared with the students about one particular child and the significance in his young life, what a toy can do. “We had a foster kid who didn’t even know when his birthday was or when Christmas was. The gift of a toy was very meaningful to the child and to us,” he said.

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