By Angely Peña-Agramonte

Miami Lakes Educational Center (MLEC) encourages its students to be charitable, especially around the holidays—a time when Jaguars give anything (be it their time through volunteering or donations) to help those who need it. 

This year, it was no different. 

Recently, MLEC’s “SHAPE” encouraged students at MLEC to donate clothes, food cans, and hygiene products to “Camillus House”—an organization that caters to the needs of the homeless.

“Everyone was for it and we got a lot of donations,” said Ms. Charlesette Chavis, a teacher at MLEC and SHAPE’s sponsor. “People actually went to the stores and thought about it. They actually took thought and their time to buy it,” she continued.

The sad reality is that although many of us may not notice it , there are truly a lot of people who need whatever we have to offer to them. Even the smallest can of beans could make a difference for a person that has nothing at all. This is a sentiment all MLEC students share, which is why every season they fundraise, give, and collect various items for people in need.

Camillus House is an organization that helps homeless people by giving them shelter and food, clothing, addiction counseling, job training, and anything else they are able to help with.

Their mission is to provide the homeless with a continuum of care and empowerment to help them in the future. They don’t only wish to give aid to the homeless, but also bring them back up on their feet so they could get out of the poor lifestyle and shape them into productive members of society.

SHAPE worked along with this organization to be able to give back for a great cause and to make it known to the school. MLEC’s SHAPE is teaching students to want to help out and give back to their communities in the ways that they can.

Ms. Chavis, SHAPE’s sponsor, states “…we picked our service project to be homelessness to make it known to the school.” 

Ms. Chavis encourages the members of her club to be very active in the community and participate in a variety of areas, even if it may not be much. She states that she really wants others to know the importance of volunteering, which is why the club exists and why they do events like these.

The holidays can be especially tough, and some people truly need the help. So, it becomes very important to give back to others in need and participating in events like these. 

“It’s important to donate because you never know what a person could be going through,” said Ms. Chavis. “The little that you give today could help save a life tomorrow. You never know how it feels to truly need someone’s help, be it big or small, until you are in that moment and in that situation.”

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