SADD members find joy in helping others

ESCANABA – The expression, “It’s better to give than to receive” has proved true for at least five members of the Escanaba High School chapter of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD).

Since the start of the new school year in September, the teens have been visiting schools and nursing homes in Escanaba where they have been offering their services to the students and seniors in a variety of ways.

The five teens visited Webster Elementary School prior to the Christmas holiday and read to a classroom of kindergarten students.

“This was our first time at Webster said SADD member Shania Miller. “We went to Lemmer School at Halloween and brought treats for the kids.”

Alyssa Polequin, a high school junior, has been a SADD member since she was a freshman. She said she particularly enjoys reading to youngsters.

“I like it because it promotes reading while they’re still young and the kids like it, too.”

Although the teens all said they enjoyed working with little children, almost without exception, the girls said visiting with the residents of the nursing homes is the most rewarding.

“Especially during Christmas,” said Kelsey Geyer. “It’s so hard because so many of them don’t have any visitors and they are so happy when we go and talk with them. We made snowman ornaments for each of them and it was wonderful to see their eyes light up when we gave them to them.”

Kelsey, who is a high school senior, has been a member of SADD since she was in the eighth grade.

“I like working with the little kids,” said SADD member, Rebecca Piron. “But there’s something special about visiting the seniors. They seem so happy whenever we visit with them.”

EHS junior, Bailey Manninen, said she very much enjoyed caroling at the senior homes.

“That was probably one of the most rewarding things we did this year,” she said with a smile.

When asked who enjoys their visits more…themselves or the individuals they visit.

“I think it’s both,” Bailey responded. “But it’s a different kind of happiness for each of us. When we visit, the people are obviously glad we’re there, but for me, it’s a wonderful feeling to see them so happy, especially when they get to the place where they recognize you when you come.”