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Club Spotlight: Service Over Self Club

Updated: Nov 7, 2020

by GRACE LEBER - Interact, Key, and LEO Club are joining forces to create one service club, allowing students more opportunities to serve the community.

WESTFIELD, Ind. (October 24, 2020) - Beginning this year, Westfield High School students no longer need to struggle in choosing one service club to join, as Interact Club, Key Club, and LEO Club are combining to form one big service club.

The club, named Service Over Self (SOS), seeks to strengthen students’ desire to help others by providing members with a larger amount of volunteer opportunities. In addition, members will also learn the educational value of volunteerism and gain leadership skills.

The mission of Service Over Self is reflected through its name.

“To remind everyone that we should think of ways to help others instead of ourselves,” said Mrs. Becky Sondgeroth, former Interact sponsor and current SOS co-sponsor. “The needs of our community should be considered above our own.”

Mr. Victor McCarty, former LEO Club sponsor and co-sponsor of SOS, further explains the meaning of the club:

“The club is called Service Over Self because it gets our purpose across without confusion. With LEO Club, I'd often get the question 'what is it?' and have to explain our purpose of service. Our name, our motto and mission is Service Over Self and hopefully, it'll show that living a selfless life is a life worth living.”

During meetings, student officers present upcoming service opportunities, while members play icebreaker games and complete a small service project. Having student-led meetings further inspires members to become more involved in the community and develop their leadership skills.

Officers Celine Madawuba (12) and Syna Patel (12) organize supplies and decorate cards for nursing home patients during an SOS meeting this October

Club member Kathleen Leber (9) writes a card for a senior during SOS’s October meeting

Cards created by SOS club members for nursing home patients

Syna Patel (12), an officer of SOS, believes that the biggest benefit of combining service clubs is that it brings out the best in each club.

“Now that we have an organization full of Key, LEO, and Interact Club, we have more service opportunities,” Patel said. “These opportunities, big and small, allow us to impact our local community and international places, overall making an impact last.”

Each club has something unique that it is known for around WHS: Interact Club did an international project each year, Key Club had an annual food drive and made Valentine Bundles for students, and LEO Club raised thousands of dollars for its annual Pancake Breakfast and collected items for the community through its annual Seasons of Giving program. SOS will combine elements of each so students no longer have to choose between clubs to do service projects.

However, in addition to the (numerous) challenges caused by COVID-19, the club leadership is confronted with questions on how to merge the clubs smoothly.

“The biggest difficulty in combining clubs is that each one is their own global organization with their own rules. For instance, Key Club has always had dues whereas LEO Club has not. So how do we navigate and find a balance between traditions in order to forge our own path[?]” Mr. McCarty said.

However big the challenges are, though, the SOS leadership is working hard to create a positive club experience for all members.

As SOS officer Kiley Phillips (12) puts it, “People should join SOS because it is a great way to meet new people, get involved with the school and community, and it is fun.” So consider doing just that because you won’t regret it.

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