The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

NC’s Sending Sunshine chapter brightens up the Kennesaw and Acworth communities

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Ciara Whimbush
January 22, NC’s newest club, Sending Sunshine, held its first meeting of the school year. Equally fueled by altruism and creativity, the club members designed cards and letters for senior citizens in local retirement homes to help cure potential feelings of isolation or loneliness. Co-presidents Katherina Sackey and Jordyn Walker aim to further encourage community service in NC’s halls, one colored pencil or scented marker at a time.

Of the eight million adults that currently reside in the state of Georgia, 1,479,832 fall under the “senior citizen” category, which starts around the ages of 60 to 65. Although senior citizens account for a sizable share of the population in the Peach State, life can feel isolating for those who live in senior living homes. After the COVID-19 pandemic, seniors may also not see their families for a prolonged amount of time, further augmenting this feeling of loneliness. Fortunately, for the senior citizens close to the NC community, a new club seeks to help ease the burden that separation causes by “sending sunshine” to local senior living homes. 

 NC’s Sending Sunshine club stands as a chapter of the Sending Sunshine organization, a Canadian charity that sends letters and cards to senior citizens. In its mission statement, Sending Sunshine acknowledges its commitment to connecting seniors with people from around the globe, as well as encouraging young people to participate in community service. Fortunately for them, the NC chapter—which joins the list of 200 other chapters of the organization worldwide—similarly sets out to promote acts of kindness and service to students within the school’s halls. 

The Sending Sunshine chapter at NC joins a long list of community service clubs that stem from substantial organizations and charities that seek to provide aid to those in need. NC’s Rally Club partners with the Rally Foundation to help fundraise for the cure to childhood cancer and NC’s Miracle Club helps the University of Georgia (UGA) Miracle establishment to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network hospital within Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Although the Sending Sunshine organization accepts donations, the NC branch currently does not. However, this could change as the club continues to expand. 

To further drive home the altruistic goal of Sending Sunshine at NC, the club’s co-presidents, magnet juniors Katherina Sackey and Jordyn Walker, truly embody the organization’s mission statement through their collaborative devotion to kindness. The duo sought to find a community service venture to increase access to service hours for all NC students. Drawing inspiration from the Rally letter fundraiser and their personal connections to senior citizens, Sackey and Walker founded the NC chapter of Sending Sunshine through their appreciation of the club’s purpose. 

“In my personal life, my grandparents are so far from my other family that we don’t really get to visit them a lot. I remember that when I was looking at Sending Sunshine, it reminded me of my grandma, and how it would brighten her day if she got letters from other people that show how much other people care about her. That’s why I really wanted to partner with this organization,” Walker said.  

As advertised on their Instagram account, Sending Sunshine plans on encouraging club members to write letters with 15–20 words per sentence in exchange for an hour of community service. With these service hours, club members can both augment their resumes and spread positivity to senior citizens in need. From words of encouragement to clever jokes for the recipient, club members own full creative control of their letters as long as the content remains appropriate. Sackey and Walker also plan to provide snacks at each meeting to increase the feeling of comfortability among members.

At the inaugural meeting of NC’s Sending Sunshine Club, Sackey and Walker introduced attendees to the Sending Sunshine organization and explained what the club hopes to accomplish. Additionally, they highlighted Azalea Gardens as the current recipient of the written letters, and the club presidents provided thorough guidelines to what each letter could entail. After brief introductions and elaborations on future club involvement, students began diving into the markers, construction paper and stickers available to create engaging cards for senior citizens. 

Regarding future plans for NC’s Sending Sunshine, the co-presidents currently searching for a Donation Manager—a third member of the leadership team who would coordinate communications with retirement homes and the club. The duo also shared plans to assist the Magnet Open House February 8, where different organizations at NC can advertise to potential incoming freshmen and their families. With an inspiring message and a productive first meeting under their belt, Sackey and Walker look optimistically to a bright future with Sending Sunshine.

“We hope to send at least 500 letters, and to branch out to more retirement homes because right now we only have one, but we would like to have ten before the year is out. We also hope to get more people involved in the club,” Sackey said. 

 

 
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Ciara Whimbush, Copy Editor
One fateful day in 2013, Ciara Whimbush wrote a story about two girls visiting a witch’s house in the woods. Throughout the process, she stumbled across the thing that made her feel the most like herself: writing. As Whimbush embarks on her junior year as a member of NC’s magnet program, she aims to continue to expand her view of the world through a journalistic lens. As a newly minted editor, Whimbush excitedly looks upon this new school year to hone her craft and build upon her new discipline. She holds the field of social studies in high regard, as she actively participates in NC’s Model UN club, as well as HiStory Retold, an organization that seeks to diversify curriculums across classrooms. Aside from typing away on her keyboard, her other interests include spinning her flag and rifle on the NC Color Guard, baking sweets, making Dad jokes, taking pictures of the sky and indulging in various video essays riddled on YouTube. During her second year at The Chant, Whimbush hopes to become a better writer, an impactful editor and a citizen of the world; whether it be with interviews, articles, or exploring out of her comfort zone. Her main goal surrounds making her first-grade self proud of how far she has come.       

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