Lakehill Preparatory students have participated in the Upper School Day of Service for many years. However, some students felt one day was not enough. They wanted to give upper-school students more opportunities to give back to the community.
As part of their campaign for student council president and vice president, senior Haley York and junior Brandon Douglas promised to increase opportunities for students to volunteer together. They brainstormed ideas with Lakehill’s director of marketing and community relations, Gigi Ekstrom, and came up with the idea for a new club, the Warrior Outreach Organization.
WOO, as it’s affectionately called in the hallways of Lakehill, organizes four service projects, including one per quarter. So far, though, it has become bigger, with various organizations asking WOO for help.
The first event was a shoreline spruce-up at White Rock Lake. Thirty students showed up to help pick up trash on a Saturday morning. In December, the group worked at the CitySquare thrift store, and students plan to help out at the North Texas Food Bank and Community Partners of Dallas in the spring. They also held a fundraising competition before the holidays to benefit lower-income families.
“I’ve heard people talk about it around school,” said York. “They plan to go with their friends and I’ve heard some really great things from students.”
York said they try to make the events accessible and fun for students. WOO provides transportation from the school, usually plans for Saturday mornings, and gives students the opportunity to volunteer with their friends.
York and Ekstrom have worked together to organize the events. Douglas plans to continue the legacy and has a vision for WOO in the future.
“I want to get things on the calendar early so everyone will know that WOO is still in action,” said Douglas. “I want to get shirts made so we can all wear them when we’re working at these places. Basically I just want to build on what Haley has going this year.”