Project Spirit helps the homeless

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The frost of the wind nips at their noses, shivers silently creep up their backs, and heavy hearts try to wrap themselves in their own warmth.  This is a typical night for the homeless.

Hoping to provide warmth to the homeless, Project Spirit officially started in the fall, meeting every Wednesday in room 115.

The club, advised by English teacher Helen Rizzuto, is launching Honor the Homeless, a new campaign that hopes to provide warm winter scarves to the homeless of New York City.

Club member Benny Simkhaev, sophomore, shared his opinions: “It is an extremely generous, kind thing that Mrs. Rizzuto and the Townsend Harris kids are doing.”

Mrs. Rizzuto began Project Spirit three years ago with her sophomore class. Inspired by the Ephebic Oath Project that commemorated the firefighters of 9/11, it aspires to lift the spirits of the school community.

Students form a partnership in which they “adopt” someone in need. This forms a connection between the student and adoptee.

Every year, the club endorses a color. Previous year’s colors included blue and green bracelets to exemplify unity. This year, the THHS community and the homeless are unified through slate gray, which represents how the homeless are usually overlooked.   There will be a small red heart on each bracelet correspnding to a red heart that will be sewn on each scarf.

Students who give a two-dollar donation will receive wristbands distributed by the Project Spirit Team. The team will venture out into other communities and personally deliver scarves and bracelets to the homeless.

The earnings made from the wristbands will provide the money to pay for materials and if possible, remaining proceeds will pay for Dunkin’ Donut gift certificates for the homeless.

Junior club member Hannah Jang said, “Mrs. Rizzuto tells us every year how the different  friends she has made through these projects thanked Project Spirit and how little things have made such a big difference.”

The new bell schedule almost kept the club from continuing, but students  pleaded with Mrs. Rizzuto to continue Project Spirit.

Although the club has already gathered many club members, Project Spirit will always welcome more help.