Niles German Club serves up more than just words

Published 6:57 pm Saturday, October 18, 2003

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- For nine years, the German Club at Niles High School has been focusing on helping organizations in need.
Two years ago, the club decided to lend their helping hand to the South Bend, Ind.-based Hope Rescue Mission's homeless shelter.
But the German Club, made up of high school students studying German, doesn't just raise and donate money to organizations.
On Saturday, Oct 4, 15 German Club members went to Hope's homeless shelter and served homemade food to the shelter's patrons.
Herrman said the students' parents contributed with a lot of food, which was apparently well received by those who at the time were living at the shelter.
Sean Stark was among the 15 high school students who helped serve food.
And, he liked it.
But in addition to being the German Club's current big community project, Herrman thinks serving the homeless people was, for many of her students, also a good life experience.
Herrman said some of the high school students were amazed to see families living at the homeless center with their children, and she thinks it opened their eyes to the circumstances under which some people live.
The German Club, that has donated money to Hope for the last two years, however, isn't done helping out the shelter.
Herrman said the students are currently selling candy in the community.
All proceeds from the candy sales will be donated to Hope before Christmas, Herrman said.
And, in spring next year, the German Club is planning another evening of serving food at the homeless shelter.
Community projects the Club has been involved with in the past, include helping out a shelter for abused women.
The club also donated money to the Niles City Fire Department a couple of years ago. The fire department used the money when purchasing its thermal imaging camera.
And, after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York, the club raised $2,000 which was donated to three women from New York who lost their firefighter husbands that day.