Darlington High School’s ‘25 Acts of Service’ celebrates quarter-century anniversary
Darlington High School (DHS) celebrates its 25th anniversary this school year by treating the community that has supported the school so much over the years with dedicated acts of kindness. The school deems the call to action “25 Acts of Service,” and events are already underway, including fundraising, food drives and litter cleanup. DHS students, faculty, staff and alumni are finding creative ways to come together to honor the school’s Silver Anniversary despite the coronavirus pandemic. “It has been incredible to watch the various groups embrace this project,” said Cortney Gehrke, DHS principal. “During this pandemic, instead of lamenting the celebrations we couldn’t hold for our 25th year, Falcons have chosen to focus on supporting one another and our town. Our students will learn the joy of giving back through these events, and it will bring us all closer together as a Falcon family.” Various DHS groups have already identified the 25 Acts of Service and are committed to seeing them completed by the end of May. The program kicked off in October with several organizations working together to initiate a courtyard beautification project at the school. Justin Means, an alumnus of DHS and a current staff member, said the project “allows the Falcons to give back while enhancing a sense of empathy for the needs of our community in our future leaders.” In October, other events included the DHS National Honor Society raising funds to donate to McLeod Regional Medical Center’s Breast Health Center and the school’s Anchor and Beta clubs working together to collect food donations for the Darlington County Humane Society. On Oct. 30, the DHS football team worked with the city of Darlington to complete a roadside litter pick-up project. “As a football staff, we wanted the kids to have an opportunity to do something for their community and to experience service-learning and the impact it can have,” said Raymond Jennings, DHS varsity football head coach. “We simply challenged the players to help for nothing and to see how it would make them feel.” The DHS Key Club kicked off the month of November with members composing nearly 90 “Thinking of You” letters for local nursing home residents. Safety restrictions due to the pandemic have limited visits to these facilities, and the Key Club wanted to make sure these Darlington community members received some special attention. November will also mark the beginning of the 41st Annual Darlington Food Drive, which supplies groceries to some elderly and disabled citizens and also helps restock The Lord Cares Food Bank. To follow along with the 25 Acts of Service throughout the school year, please follow Darlington High School on Facebook and Twitter.