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High School Club Generates Thousands for Charity

The WHS "Do Good Club" recently held a dance fundraiser.

While volunteering at the YMCA in Merrimack, N.H. last summer, Windham High School junior Justin Valentine realized that there were kids locally who were not as well off as some of the kids in his own town.

"That kind of got me interested in working with kids and helping them," he said.

Valentine teamed up with one of his favorite teachers, Greg Racki, to begin the school's "Do Good Club," last fall. The primary motivation was to team up with local charities to raise money and awareness for their particular causes.

Family Promise of Greater Rockingham County was the first organization to partner up with the club.

Melanie Nesheim, who serves as president of the chapter, had reached out to Valentine's mother through email asking her to consider going to some of their meetings, which was what sparked his interest in helping them out.

"I realized how much of a great charity they are," Valentine said.

The larger Family Promise organization is a national charity with various chapters. Its mission is to help homeless and low income families get back on their feet. 

Valentine's club recently organized a blacklight dance at the high school with all proceeds going to the charity. The event raised $3,077 minus some expenses that the dance incurred.

"Hopefully we will be able to donate just about $2,700," Valentine said.

He also worked with his uncle to print t-shirts with the words "helping fight homelessness," teaming up with a sponsor so that the shirts didn't cost anything.

Valentine added that there have been a lot of requests for a second event, especially from those who didn't think the first event would be good and were proven wrong.

He set the gears in motion on April 5, meeting with the WHS student council to organize the follow-up dance.

As for the crew involved with the club, he said they have about 10 or 15 kids, but they are definitely trying to crack down on having a sturdy group of students who are willing to help out.

Family Promise will also be coming to a future club meeting to do a presentation offering background on the charity.

For more information on Family Promise of Greater Rockingham County, click here.

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