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Carnations proceeds at SHS help the homeless

Carnations proceeds at SHS help the homeless

It’s that time of year again, Valentine’s Day. The month of February is notorious for its atmosphere of red and pink. At Solon High School, Key Club began selling carnations on 1/31. Similar to the halloween themed “Boo Grams,” students purchase a carnation and fill out a form to send it out to their friends. The tradition is just one of the ways SHS celebrates the holidays.

All of the proceeds made from the carnations will go towards purchasing toiletry kids to later donate to Hands, Hearts & Homes Outreach, a nonprofit organization that operates with the help of volunteers to collect and distribute furniture, household furnishing, personal items and food to people in need.

Hands, Hearts & Homes (H3O) is located in Solon Ohio, operating out of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, and works with SHS Key Club as of last year, advisor Maggie Locke talks about how they first got in contact.

“Last year we did a big coat drive… our plan was to donate them to just one place, but then we had so many coats…we couldn’t donate them all to one place because they physically couldn’t take them all,” said Locke. “So I reached out to a bunch of churches to see if they did any work with people who are impoverished or in need in any way, and Hands, Hearts & Homes responded.”

H3O President Jill Moriarity said they don’t label people as “homeless” or “impoverished,” simply people who are in need. Noting that the most needed things are deodorant, socks and fresh underwear.

Once a month, H3O opens their doors to the community and anything they need is provided including clothes and shoes. In 2017, the reported number of homeless people in Cuyahoga County was 23,000, since then the number has declined, but people are still in need.

The carnation drive is through Key Club, a volunteer organization that helps people in not only the Solon community, but also the greater Cleveland area (which would include the carnation drive). The tradition of selling carnations isn’t a new thing– Locke states that when she was a student at SHS it was a known event.

In recent years, you may have noticed the prices of carnations have been on the rise lately, this year they are selling two for $3.

“We have to pay eighty-nine cents per flower, and we were barely making any money,” said Locke. “We have to buy extra carnations as well because some break …One year we didn’t make any money at all, so we had to raise the price in order to have a fundraiser that would actually help people.”

Locke also encourages students to participate.

“The cause is not only a good one, but the tradition itself is a great way to make Valentine’s day fun and show school spirit.”

Sophomore Christina Haggerty agrees.

“Since the proceeds going towards the homeless, you’ll be making other people’s days as well on Valentines Day.”

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