Interact Club unites students, serves community

At a recent meeting, Interact Club members fill Room 100 to discuss upcoming events to work.

Abby Nelson

At a recent meeting, Interact Club members fill Room 100 to discuss upcoming events to work.

Abby Nelson, Guest Writer

Through Interact Club, students bond together, meet new people, and learn about service while trying to better the community.

Interact Club hosts several events, many of which are organized by Spanish teacher Mr. Jerry Turk who serves as co-adviser. He said, “We have provided services for groups out there, whether it is mothers coming to a meeting in the evening and they need childcare for their kids, we’ve provided that, whether it’s a Halloween party put on by Mayfield Village or Mayfield Heights, we provide the kids with scary costumes and make that party successful. Cooking tacos for people in hospice who are gravely ill, and their families.”

Sophomore Nikolas Lako is a new member of Interact, who attended the Halloween event that was hosted for the community. He said, “For kids–they would go on a path, and through the path they would play games, then they would get candy, and win prizes. People would pick a pumpkin, and we would help take them to their cars and help them take pictures and whatnot.”

In November, Turk was pleased that 75 club members spent hours on a Saturday raking leaves for the elderly in Mayfield Heights. He said, “Then they came back and had pizza, so what better bonding than raking leaves, putting a smile on someone’s face, and having some pizza?”

Lako bonded with students in Interact through group-oriented events like leaf raking for the elderly. He said, “In these groups I’ve been paired up with people I’m not really friends with, and now I’m more comfortable being around them and seeing them around school. [The club is about] making new friends and also just meeting new people.”

Turk says the biggest challenge for the club this year is coming up with events that are Covid-safe. He said, “We used to have 13 [events] in the month of October, and instead of 13 we had about two. We need ideas, we need people that are willing to run and willing to work together hard, so we can think of events, which is what I try to do at these meetings.”

Math teacher Kate McCartney is the club co-adviser with Turk and says she misses the club field trips most of all. She said, “I definitely want to do reading to the kids at a Cleveland city school and collecting books.. [also, we] definitely want to make dinners for hospice.”

Turk’s spirits are lifted by the students in the club, and despite their challenges, they still find a way to make an impact. He said, “I would cry just about every time, at these kids and their compassion, and their passion for helping, and their passion for making people smile, even though they’re going through the worst thing they could ever go through.”

McCartney believes the club is all about offering opportunities for students. She said, “They get to do activities outside of the normal school setting that aren’t academic in nature. They get to feel good about themselves doing good things for the community, and they get to do it on their own time.”