ANDOVER — One of the greatest things about the students at Pymatuning Valley High School is their commitment to volunteer service. Through the multiple facets of community service available, students commit their time to bettering the world around them. One such facet of community service is Ruri-Teen. Ruri-Teen is a student volunteer organization through which students are dedicated to improving their schools and communities through fellowship, goodwill and community service. Students involved work hard to accomplish the task of improving their community, and with that, themselves.
Ruri-Teen was initially started by JeffreyMeddock, in connection with its senior volunteer group, Ruritan. Heading the group now is Cindy Morford, who has been adviser for approximately four years.
“I enjoy working with teens, so when he (Meddock) passed away, I felt the need to keep the group going,” Morford said.
Thanks to her desire to continue Ruri-Teen, students continue to accomplish the task of improving their community. Aside from managing the activities of Ruri-Teen, Morford has worked as librarian at Pymatuning Valley High School for three years. Each week, the Ruri-Teens meet in the library to discuss new approaches to fixing the problems around the community. Even with her responsibilities as librarian, Morford never falters in her spirit or commitment to Ruri-Teen, and the students clearly respond to her dedication.
Recently, the Ruri-Teens have taken it upon themselves to organize a clothing drive to donate to the Spiderweb organization located in Jefferson. Founded in 1980, Spiderweb has made its mission to “inspire and encourage at-risk youth and their families to make healthy choices and gain self-confidence to succeed through a support network of caring volunteers.” Through a variety of services, Spiderweb strives to help and better the community. They offer free tutoring to students of Jefferson Area Local Schools who are in grades Kindergarten through sixth. Spiderweb also offers support groups for at-risk youth to catch a problem before it starts.
Most importantly for the Ruri-Teens, Spiderweb offers a free clothing closet. Families and individuals are allowed to walk in and acquire any amount of clothing they need. This can be extremely helpful to those going through unexpected tragedies and those who need a little help to get them back on their feet.
One reason the Ruri-Teens decided to choose to donate to Spiderweb is because of the potential the project has to continue year-round. There are always people in need of clothing. So many students are fortunate enough to own adequate amounts of clothing to not only clothe themselves, but also to have a variety of options in choosing what they wear. Students who own clothing that is no longer worn are encouraged to donate these articles to the library to be brought to Spiderweb. Not only do student contributions help those in need, this offers the opportunity to easily clear out closets.
Hopefully, with the donations received, the drive will continue for years to help those in need. Ruri-Teens have hung up a multitude of posters and flyers, convincing students to donate their gently used clothing to Spiderweb. In the library sits a box so large that, when filled with clothing, could clothe multiple families. All that’s left now is to fill that box!