Does organizing and collecting donations, as well as learning about problems in the community sound intriguing? How about brainstorming different areas of need in the local or global community? Maybe throw in meeting and working with new people? Then check out Minnetonka High School’s very own Club Imagine.
Club Imagine is an up and coming service club searching for different ways to improve our community, from bringing a smile to a little kid’s face on their birthday, to helping fight systemic racism.
The song “Imagine” by John Lennon, which was a plea to see only our own similarity to the people we share the planet with inspired the name. As the famous lyrics go, “imagine… no need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man, imagine all the people sharing all the world.”
Club Imagine is truly making its namesake proud in the short span of its existence. The club was formed in early February 2020 by Aileen Dosev, ‘23, shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Though the club has been active for less than a year, the organization truly has made a splash in the community, including the members within it.
“It’s more of what we have been doing that has the impact, but it feels really good that we can help people in our community that are struggling because of COVID,” said Carmen McLaren, ‘23. “It just feels good to be making some sort of impact, and being a part of something.”
Being a part of a community, especially one that focuses on positively influencing the world, is a great way to spend time. Most of the time spent in meetings counts for service hours, even if it is just spent planning. An added benefit to this club is that it is an easy and fun way to get service hours, something with which the busy, hardworking high school student often struggles to make time.
“Club Imagine is a very open club, so if you just don’t have the time to help plan something or participate in something, it’s totally fine,” said McLaren. “It’s more like, the more the merrier, anyone can help, there is not a big commitment you need to have to join the club.”
Club Imagine started out with a widely successful donation drive for Cheerful Givers, an organization that aims to make sure every child has a happy birthday by making birthday bags. There were enough donations to create 150 bags. Unfortunately, due to Coronavirus, the club was unable to run any more donation drives until this school year.
They started with a bang right away by deciding to focus on systemic racism by collecting essential items in September for Project for Pride in Living (PPL). It was a success.
For both the Cheerful Givers and PPL drives, members would take on the tasks of making multiple different types of simple posters, collecting and setting up boxes to collect donations and advertising on the announcements or in general.
As another wave of COVID-19 surged, it became difficult to hold other donation drives that were school wide. In November, Club Imagine found a solution: donating food as a group to the Open Door Pantry, another success.
Service in general is just a good idea. It helps everyone–from the people receiving the service to the person who is giving the service.
“I think one thing that we learn as we serve others is that it can bring us a great deal of enjoyment as well,” said Sarah Johnson, Club Imagine adviser.
“There is a great need out in the community at all times, not just during COVID and during these challenging times that we are going through. Finding a way to give back to our community and those who are underserved can bring a lot of fulfillment to one’s life. It can offer a lot of hope to others as well, whether it be getting involved in a service activity, a physical activity or fundraising or doing something, even giving back in terms of collecting donations and giving that donation to an organization. I think all of those ways of giving back really give people a greater sense of hope and feel self esteem and really helps people understand how fortunate they are and how grateful they need to be for what they are given.”
Taking a stand to make a difference in the world is important. By joining a club, it shows that the topic is important, and that it should be recognized. If you can imagine yourself joining, then please contact Aileen Dosev, Club Imagine Founder, at [email protected].