SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The holidays are all about giving back, but one new Sioux Falls student group formed with that goal to last all year long.
There’s no shortage of activities for today’s high school students to choose from.
“I do soccer and track and HOSA and history clubs,” Knights for a Cure founder Kaia Folsom said.
But this year, O’Gorman junior Kaia Folsom decided her school could use a new club.
“We usually have a couple new clubs when we start the new school year, it’s something we like to mention to the kids that we’re always open to new ideas,” O’Gorman assistant principal Alex Anderson said.
Folsom’s idea was to create a club focused on giving back.
“Helping people means a lot to me. It’s always something I’ve loved to do. I just thought a lot of clubs at Gorman were more for entertainment… But I just wanted to help people.”
That’s why she decided to propose a new group called The Knights for a Cure.
“I’ve seen a lot of my own family friends and family be really impacted by cancer. I thought it would be a great way to get our own school involved not only in school but in the community as well and help others,” said Folsom.
The whole goal of the student club is to find ways to help support families going through cancer treatments.
“Obviously the people who have cancer are going through hard times, their families are also affected by that. Also, the health care workers who have to try to keep the patients positive and the families positive, that can take a toll on everyone physically and mentally,” Knights for a Cure student leader Brooke Harvison.
The idea of helping to make that burden a little lighter has really taken off at O’Gorman high school.
“The response was unbelievable, by far the most support we’ve had for any club we’ve started,” Anderson said. “The very first meeting that they had was just an informational meeting about the club they had over 60 students show up. They actually had to move rooms and go to one of the bigger rooms in the building just so they could accommodate all of the students that were fired up.”
A response that was far greater than Folsom ever expected.
“I knew most of my friends would join, but I had no idea we’d have almost 100 people in the club, so it’s just been so awesome,” Folsom said.
In its first few weeks as a new club, these students worked together to fundraise and come up with some creative ways to help fulfil their mission of supporting those with cancer.
“It’s been an idea since we started the club, we wanted to make baskets to give back to the health care workers involved with cancer treatments and stuff. We have a lot of little self-care items like hair ties, nail files and stuff,” Harvison said.
This month, the club put together care packages with treats and donated gift cards for oncology nurses at Sanford, Avera and the VA hospital in Sioux Falls.
“At a meeting a couple weeks ago, almost all of the members in our club wrote a thank you card to the nurses.”
After assembling all of the baskets as a group, several Knights for a Cure members hand delivered the care packages just in time for Christmas.
“I think just bringing small bits of joy into these people’s lives during like these hard times,” Folsom said.
And while the gifts may be small, the heart behind the hands that put them together means the most.
“It really shows a lot about their character,” Anderson said. “Obviously, they’re at a high school that they’re being challenged academically, they’re involved in lots of other activities, but to want to initiate this club, it just tells a lot of their character that they think of others first, and they just want to be there to support others going through a rough time.”
While the Knights for a Cure has just begun, both the students and school administrators expect this group to grow and be a big part of O’Gorman High School for many years to come.