The Douglas High School Key Club has been busy engaging in the service to others, whether creating a list of help hotlines on the back of student ID cards, raising money for developing countries, or preparing for their annual turkey drop.
"The club's primary purpose is to introduce students to community service," said Kiwanis Club member John Amundson, who helped establish the Key Club in 2000 and serves as one of its advisors.
He said the club's first project was to help complete Bluerock Park in the Gardnerville Ranchos, providing trees, shrubs and the park's irrigation system.
"The impressive thing is that these kids are all self starters," said Amundson. "They come up with the projects themselves."
He said the club started out small and now has more than 50 members.
Vanessa Ozolins, counselor at Douglas High and advisor to the club, said it was the Key Club who decided student ID cards needed help hotlines listed on their backsides, relating to substance abuse, suicide, domestic violence and other issues teens' face.
"Half of the money came from the Partnership of Community Resources, and the other half from the Key Club's ink cartridge recycling program," she said.
She said Key Club members also raised $700 for healthcare and education for orphans in Africa as part of the United Nations children's fund relief effort.
"This is an opportunity to look past themselves," said Ozolins. "Adolescents sometimes can be so selfish, but these are the nicest kids."
Senior and club president Mary Lombino said Key Club helps students not only meet new people but become part of their larger community.
"I realized there are a lot of people who are willing to help others," she said. "Wherever I go, I will always stay involved with community service, and I hope younger students will get involved too."
Sophomore Trevor Logan said being in Key Club looks good on a college application, but more than that it has taught him to be a better person.
"I loved the rake and run we did," said Logan.
He said club members and he went around and raked the lawns of random houses. When done, they'd ring the doorbells of the houses and run away, leaving notes saying Douglas High School Key Club was there.
Club members are currently working on a similar project, planning to once again ring doorbells and run away, but this time leaving Thanksgiving turkeys rather than notes.
For more information about the Douglas High School Key Club, call Ozolins at 782-5136.