Etching a mark in society

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Etching a mark in society

Sarah Young

Every Wednesday lunch, students gather in room A202, their mind set on creating art and donating it to those in need. These students are members of ArtReach, a club devoted to making arts and crafts and donating them towards charities and other organizations.

ArtReach is a volunteer club that specializes in making crafts, which they then donate to children’s hospitals and  as of this year they plan to donate to clinics such as Silicon Valley medical clinic. President Shivika Sivakumar has been a part of ArtReach since her sophomore year. (7)

Shivika Sivakumar showing her thank you card with a heart cut-out. Drawings of example cards are on the board behind her. Photo by Sarah Young

“I always wanted to give back to my society, because it’s giving us so much,” Sivakumar said. “ArtReach is club where we make arts and crafts during meetings and then we donate that arts and crafts to an organization, which helps like charity or maybe unfortunate members of society. So indirectly we are helping those in need by using art as a medium.

According to Sivakumar, ArtReach’s main goal is to spread positivity to those in need. One of their recent works included creating origami lilies with encouraging words written inside, such as ‘get well soon’, which they plan to send to Lucile Packard’s Children Hospital.

Rather than focusing on one organization or charity, ArtReach aims to donate to a wide spectrum of organizations. Their club members can gain volunteer hours by helping search for new organizations to donate to.

“This year we are trying to [find] more organizations,” Sivakumar said. “So [an organization] we are considering is Savannah Smiles …  so what we were planning to do is make greeting cards, because what that institution does is they collect greeting cards and they give it to different people, mostly orphans or their grandparents who aren’t looked after anymore.” (1)

Shivika Sivakumar along with other ArtReach club members pose with Sivakumar’s thank you card to club adviser Melinda Gaul. All club members are working on making thank you cards. Photo by Sarah Young

For Sivakumar, ArtReach serves as an outlet for her to become more involved in society as well as create art. This year, Sivakumar, alongside other ArtReach officers, are thinking about  hosting a school-wide art competition that will reflect a message that they want to share.

Event coordinator and senior Anoop Kaur is in charge of coordinating events and taking polls. Kaur’s favorite thing about ArtReach is its atmosphere.

“One of my favorite things about being in this club is that you don’t need any artistic talent to actually be in the club,” Kaur said. “You just join and then it’s a great family and you have fun making art.”

The officer team helps handle the donation process and gather materials for activities. All club members gain 45 volunteer minutes by attending meetings. ArtReach has in-school volunteer activities meaning that attending their meetings is equivalent to volunteer work. (2)

Anoop Kaur shows off her thank you card. Prior to this she was showing other club members how to make a pop-up card. Photo by Sarah Young.

“If you come to our meeting, you get volunteer hours, so that’s like just maybe a small initiative for people,” Sivakumar said. “The main goal is something even … bigger, but if that’s what is an initiative for you, you could come.”

One new decision that ArtReach has made this year is that club members are given the chance to act as an officer for a day and organize a meeting. Junior Manasa Ganesh has decided take up this chance and has created her own activity for the club based on past experience. Currently she is attempting to refine her plans and prior experience to make it applicable to the club.

Thank you cards made by ArtReach club members. These were all made during a club meeting at lunch for a Thanksgiving theme. Photo by Sarah Young.

Thank you cards made by ArtReach club members. These were all made during a club meeting at lunch for a Thanksgiving theme. Photo by Sarah Young.

Ganesh loves being a member of ArtReach because of the effect one can have on others. Her prior experience in Arts to Kids has led to her having new ideas for the club, and she intends to try and modify them in order to achieve not only her goal but the club’s goal as well.

“For me, ArtReach is a club where you directly make an impact on other people, like a positive impact and I think that’s really important,” Ganesh said.