Eight years ago, passionate young volunteers formed the Family Promise Club of Summit High School in Summit, NJ.
Although in the middle of a pandemic, Josh Sacks, President of the Family Promise Club at the Summit High School, was determined to keep the mission invigorated. He brought in over 100 members in just one year.
“I had volunteered with Family Promise since I was in fourth grade, and after my freshman year of being a member in the club, I reached out to Ms. Hernandez [club advisor] to see if I could build a new leadership team and gain more members,” said Sacks.
From there, Sacks recruited a core team of ten motivated students passionate about Family Promise. This allowed new creative ideas such as Zoom one-on-one tutoring for the kids involved in Family Promise Union County‘s program.
This non-mandatory tutoring program takes place every Tuesday night. Sacks and his team are provided with the number of kids that will be attending on Tuesday the night before and ensure they have an equal number of tutors available. The skilled tutors help the kids with homework they are assigned across a variety of subjects like math, English, and science.
On top of helping kids with their schoolwork, the Summit High School students plan other fun activities for them to enjoy.
“When they are done with their homework, we have extra activities we do with them, like spelling games. We also have special tutoring days that are solely activity days where we mail the arts and crafts supplies so the kids have what they need for the night we plan on making them,” Sacks said.
Another successful event that Sacks and his team engineered was a Venmo Fundraiser that raised over $500. All the money collected was used to buy gift cards for the Family Promise kids over the holiday season.
Even during COVID-19, the Family Promise Club was able to evolve with virtual events that Sacks says “have helped increase attendance at meetings.” The club’s virtual Giving Tuesday event raised over $2,000.
“I hope we can have a hybrid of virtual and in-person events since our virtual events have been so successful, especially the tutoring. We know volunteering is a big aspect of our club and we want to see the kids in person and play with them more,” Sacks said.
Sacks and his team have much more in store next year as they hope to send more holiday and birthday cards to kids and sell Family Promise lanyards at the start of the school year to raise awareness and funds for Family Promise.
This blog was written by Isabel Olson, a volunteer contributor.