New club collects (used utensils) for a cause

Anna Brinkhuis, Opinion Editor

At 3:05 on a Wednesday afternoon at Madison high school, the halls are mostly empty. In a matter of minutes, the building has gone from crowded and loud to silent and empty. Students have escaped to their after school activities — sports, jobs, Netflix. Some linger though, and their voices drift from open classroom doors into the hallway. In one such classroom in the Language hallway, a group of students have gathered for the interest meeting of a new club: MAD Collect for a Cause. Some have heard about it from their friends, others from the morning announcements, but they’ve all come to be a part of Maddie Park’s (’19) vision.

The premise behind Collect for a Cause is simple: they collect plastic utensils from local restaurants, clean them, and then distribute them among homeless shelters and churches in the area.

“Not only are you limiting waste, but you are donating utensils to shelters who would need to buy them from outside businesses,” Park said. “It’s a win-win!”

The restaurants participating in her club include local Vienna favorites like Plaka Grill and Church Street Pizza, but Collect for a Cause will also be collaborating with other organizations at Madison. One group is Food for Folks, which collects extra food, not utensils, from local restaurants. Together, they plan to package the food and plasticware before donating it to non-profit organizations like the Lamb Shelter and the First Baptist Church of Vienna.

Activites like this will take place every other Wednesday, when Collect for a Cause meets. They’ll usually organize the utensils, which will already be cleaned by the club leadership, in order to get them ready to deliver to shelters and churches. In addition to collecting utensils, the club also hopes to expand their community service later on in the year, through volunteer opportunities at the places they donate the plasticware.

Overall, Park hopes that Collect for a Cause will help to provide Madison students with an easy way to make a difference in the world around them. And she encourages other Madison students curious about forming their own club to take the risk.

“When your interest and care for the community drive you to start a club, you will know that you are benefiting the community – and that is a wonderful feeling,” Park said.