Giving back: Key Club’s Christmas carol

District-wide Key Club members gather to collect canned foods from local neighborhoods, singing in return


Tina Low

Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Pan presents a slideshow in preparation for an annual Christmas Caroling event.

Tina Low

During the first week of December, members of Homestead HS’s Key Club went around local neighborhoods to distribute bags that offered the opportunity for residents to donate canned food. On Saturday, Dec. 14, members of Division 34 South, which includes Key Clubs from other high schools like MVHS, gathered at HHS for their monthly Division Council Meeting (DCM). 

At these monthly DCMs, members often begin with a presentation, directed by the division’s lieutenant governor and senior Rebecca Pan from Los Altos HS, where the club reviews division goals, upcoming events and spirit cheers. Afterwards, a volunteering event is often incorporated into the meeting — the last DCM on Nov. 16 included an annual baby blanket making event. 

“A lot of the time the officers, including me, are really busy, so having events like these are a way to see our progress throughout the year and just have fun,” Pan said.

This month’s DCM was specifically called, “Caroling for Cans,” a donation event that worked with Sunnyvale Community Services to donate to families in need. There, the volunteers split into five groups and revisit the houses they had previously distributed bags to, retrieving the bags and singing Christmas carols in return. 

To prepare, the division’s leadership team worked to promote the events to Key Club members by posting on social media and creating graphics. MVHS’s Key Club promoted the DCM at meetings and through their website. They prepared songs such as “Deck the Halls,” “Jingle Bells,” “Frosty the Snowman,” “Feliz Navidad” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”

Officer and junior Anjali Sinha described this month’s DCM as “wholesome” because of their different firsthand interactions with the community, contrasting from most previous DCMs. 

“There was this house where we knocked and a guy opened the door and he seemed like he wasn’t in the best mood, but he said he would be back with the cans,” Sinha said. “So he opened the door with the cans and we were kind of nervous to ask him if he wanted us to sing, but we asked anyway. It was so cute because he said ‘of course’ and he called his girlfriend on the phone so we could sing ‘Jingle Bells’ to her.”

Co-vice president and junior Cheryl Bai also thought that this specific DCM fostered a multitude memorable experiences by directly working with nearby residents.

“This older man answered the door and said he didn’t have a bag of canned goods prepared at the moment but we could come back later and he would be ready with one,” Bai said. “We went back to his house after collecting the other cans and he had a bag ready outside his door, which I thought was an incredibly kind gesture that he decided to still help families in need even on such a short notice.”

Sinha believes that this DCM was a pleasant variation of previous division meetings, since instead of volunteering to give back to the community themselves, they were able to promote whole neighborhoods to give back as well. 

“It was just really nice to see people who donated cans because it shows that they care about community and there were people that were just so sweet to us,” Sinha said. “I think just giving back to our community and also seeing other people giving back is something that’s super nice.”