We recently partnered with Clackamas High School to sponsor a student-led community service project – Winter Rage – a program started over 20 years ago by now-retired math teacher, Harley Potampa.
Over the years, Winter Rage has grown tremendously and is now an event that drives more student, staff, and community participation than any other event hosted by CHS. Organized and run by the school’s Key Club, this event brings together staff, students, National Honor Society, CHS Leadership, and the greater community.
The program helps families from seven elementary schools, four middle schools, two high schools, and a local community center. This year, Winter Rage was able to sponsor 194 families providing food, gifts, clothing, and more to over 400 kids 13 and under and 128 kids 14 and older in Clackamas County. Students work together to collect donations of clothing, toys, furniture, canned food, and more that are then organized and distributed to families.
Inspired by this youth-led project, we really wanted to help! We sponsored the entire cost of the t-shirts that students sell to raise money for Winter Rage. Covering the cost allowed all proceeds from t-shirt sales to directly help families in need. In addition to financial support, members of our staff spent an evening at CHS organizing donations with student volunteers.
“We couldn’t have done this without the sponsorship of Clackamas Federal Credit Union,” said Cindy Rochester, math teacher and Winter Rage coordinator. “The ability to use all the proceeds from t-shirt sales was instrumental in meeting our fundraising goal. We feel so grateful that we had support to make 2019 Winter Rage one of the best in the past few years.”
Winter Rage is not just about providing families with toys and gifts – for many families this outreach provides essential items. Students packed about 120 toiletry bags which also included household cleaning supplies. Community volunteers delivered 15 furniture items including beds, couches, chairs, desks, dressers, and more.
“This was one of the most fun and impressive community projects we’ve worked on this year. It is positively heartwarming to see these teens working so hard to impact their community and help others,” said Clackamas CEO Aaron Goff, “It’s our pleasure to help them achieve their vision for this worthy program.”