NHS Veterans Appreciation fundraiser honors those who have served overseas


Simrah Azmi

The NHS showed support for those who have served and are currently serving in the military with their Veterans Appreciation fundraiser.

Simrah Azmi, Staff Writer

It’s easy for students to become so caught up in the academic aspect of the high school experience that they forget about everything else, including giving back to their community. The members of the National Honor Society (NHS) at WA, who recently hosted their Veteran’s Appreciation Fundraiser, are examples of students who are working to achieve a balance between the two.

The NHS collected items like treats, toiletries, and puzzle books from students to include in care packages. These were then sent to WA graduates who have gone on to serve in the military and local veterans who have served overseas.

Matt MacDonald, a WA graduate from the class of 2022, is currently serving in the military, and he is one of the main people who received a care package. In addition to being a varsity athlete, he had been a diligent member of the NHS.

“We obviously want to give back to […] our peers and people who are now serving in the military, like Matt MacDonald,” NHS secretary Aashi Gurtata said, “I know I had a great connection with him […] so it’s just great to know that we’d be supporting a greater cause.”

The NHS held this event last year as well, and they made a profound impact. According to NHS advisor Kathleen Aylward, things are looking promising again this year.

“We’ve had quite a few people say that they were planning on possibly writing a note to include and send to Matt,” Aylward said, “Last year, we were able to send really big care packages to three of our graduates […], and then we also made sizable donations to local veterans, the VFWs [Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S.].”

Members of the NHS collected items in the senior parking lot on Nov. 3, 4, 7, 9, and 10, then compiled the care packages, which were shipped out over the weekend. In addition to gathering and sending the items out, the NHS members made contributions of their own.

“[There have] been a lot of volunteers [who] have wanted to sit out front and wait for donations to come in,” Gurtata said, “They’re putting their time and effort into this, and I’d say the majority of our members have donated to this cause.”

Holding this event for veterans has been a rewarding experience for the NHS members, who have enjoyed honoring their former classmates and those who have fought for the U.S. on foreign land. Something they have especially appreciated, not only in this specific event, but throughout their time in the NHS, is being able to work with others to achieve their goals and help people.

“Sometimes it can be scary if it’s just you going to a new event, but if you have other people like your friends, and you know that you’re actually doing something meaningful and giving back, it just makes it a lot more fun,” NHS president Krishna Vasiraju said.

The NHS is committed to making their community a better place, and they are driven by their desire to fight for the causes they care about. Along with completing numerous community service hours on their own, the NHS plans events to get more students involved and raise awareness about various issues.  This dedication to making a positive contribution is one of the most important components of being part of the NHS.

No matter how much is on the members’ plates, they are looking forward to holding future events like the Veterans Appreciation fundraiser to continue helping others.

“[It’s] kind of nice to know that I’m actually spending my time wisely to get back to something that I really care about,” Vasiraju said. ” I think it’s just knowing that I’m doing something good. Even though [I] have stuff to do, it’s more important to do that.”