Dear future members of S.O.A.R.,
Back when Mrs. Melton was known as Ms. Brown, I was in eighth grade and she was my U.S. History teacher. By the time high school hit and I started looking at clubs to join, I connected with Ms. Brown over our similar love of animals. When she talked about the club she sponsored, S.O.A.R. or Students Organized for Animal Rights, of course I couldn’t wait to join. I attended the first meeting with a group of friends and we quickly bonded with the others.
Don’t assume the motive of the club based off of its name. Although the name implies we are animal rights activists, this is not necessarily the case. S.O.A.R. is open to all students who want to become involved in animal community service projects. The only requirement to become a member is to love animals. No member is asked to conform to the ideas of animal activists. We only wish to share our love for animals, and the knowledge of the abuse of animals around the world. Meetings are focused on planning trips to local shelters, making DIY toy donations, and presentations on animal species or related issues.
Step up within the club. New members are often shy and don’t voice their opinions. Don’t be afraid to vote on which shelter to go visit, or which fundraising method to use. We depend on input from the members so that members approve events and the likelihood of their participation is increased. Members are also encouraged to offer their own presentation on an animal related matter, rather than the officers always presenting.
By joining the club you’ve already made friends. You’ll already have one thing in common with everyone else – appreciation of animals. We plan monthly bonding events to get all the members together to get to know one another. Such events put on in the past include a bonfire, ice-skating, and bowling. Bringing food to the meetings will also make you pretty popular.
Get involved with the community. While S.O.A.R. has been working with certain organizations for years, we encourage the introduction of new places willing to help. Whether small or large, all sanctuaries and shelters deserve our help. Be a part of the club by assisting in fundraisers and activities used to donate to shelters. Decide which shelters to volunteer at and donate to, or even discover new organizations to bring to the club. Community service hours are awarded for the variety of activities we plan. Dedicated students have earned over 100 hours throughout their high school career just in S.O.A.R. alone.
At the end of the year there may be only 5 members going, but there will still be meetings. Each year, attendance to club meetings dwindles as the school year comes to an end. Don’t worry, because we still have meetings. At the concluding meetings there’s usually more food, time for movies and brainstorming for the upcoming school year. These meetings are often the most productive.
President of SOAR, Member 2012-2016