Helping the community

Students organize 'Soup Dinner' benefit event

Excelsior High School staff, students and friends are hosting a soup dinner fund raiser at EHS, 1401 39th St., from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 15.

A $15 donation provides patrons with a bowl to keep and samples of more than 10 varieties of soup to be served. Fresh bread and homemade desserts will complete the meal.

Various members of the school district and community will contribute the soup and students from EHS and Washougal High School will help set up and serve.

Proceeds will support the HUGS (hats, underwear, gloves, socks/scarves) and Re-Fuel Friday programs to help people in need in the Washougal community. Re-Fuel Fridays is a program offered by local churches that provides dinners each Friday night from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Washougal Community Center for anyone in need of a hot meal. The program runs through the end of March. HUGS items are available at each dinner.

“It’s important for these students to be involved in something like this so that they understand their responsibility in our community,” said Carol Boyden, EHS principal and Washougal School District homeless liaison. “And beyond meeting certain physical needs, it is nice to also offer the emotional support to these folks by showing people care.”

McKenzie Kitchen, a senior at WHS, is working to collect needed clothing for HUGS as a part of her senior project.

Boxes for donated items will be set out in local stores and area churches during the next several months.

“It is nice for people to get a little something when they don’t have much,” she said. “And it feels good to give to the community.”

“Together we make up Washougal and we should step up to help those people who need a helping hand when we are able to do so,” Boyden said. “We would like to invite everyone to come and enjoy a hot soup dinner while supporting this very worthwhile endeavor.”