Natural Helpers plans Change to Chill week

Club struggles with low membership

Natural+Helpers+members+review+the+club%E2%80%99s+plan+for+its+upcoming+Change+to+Chill+week.+Activities+for+the+week+will+take+place+in+the+cafeteria+Jan.+24+%E2%80%93+27.

Aidan Shafton

Natural Helpers members review the club’s plan for its upcoming Change to Chill week. Activities for the week will take place in the cafeteria Jan. 24 – 27.

Adam Gips and Aidan Shafton

After only having a virtual Change to Chill week last year, Natural Helpers adviser Kerstin Merrill said this year the club is attempting to revitalize Park.

“Change to Chill week is a time for the (Park) community to come together and focus on encouraging mental wellness. But also to boost the morale of students who are feeling overwhelmed due to the end of the semester,” Merrill said. “It’s really focused on the here and (the) now and trying to be aware of your mental wellness and help others that are really needing some extra support at this time.”

According to senior and Natural Helpers vice-president Ilhan Abdi, there were many steps in the planning process.

“First I had to think of all the activities that we had to do. (We) looked at past years’ (activities) and probably aimed to do something similar. And then afterwards we talked to the administration and checked to see if they were okay with it,” Abdi said. “Now, I’m just working on finishing the planning.”

Originally the plan was ‘do something in relation to finals,’ but since the administration announced that there are no finals, it was just in relation to this semester. But even with that, I’m still trying to get more people to come and participate.”

— Ilhan Abdi

For junior Sophia Earle, the lack of members in the club has made it harder to plan Change to Chill week.

“We wanted to do this before winter break, but then a few things set us back,” Earle said. “We don’t have a whole lot of members in Natural Helpers right now; getting people to volunteer and help out with it was a challenge and getting everyone on board including administration.”

According to Abdi, even though there are no finals this year she’s trying to get people to take time for themselves. 

“Originally the plan was ‘do something in relation to finals,’ but since the administration announced that there are no finals, it was just in relation to this semester. But even with that, I’m still trying to get more people to come and participate,” Abdi said.

Merrill said as the planning for Change to Chill week wraps up, Natural Helpers will continue finding new projects.

“We always look at the spring time as a time to share about Natural Helpers at the middle school. We prepare a presentation that is shared during their advisory class for incoming ninth graders,” Merrill said. “We always have a fun event in the spring with the entire group and try to bring everybody together for an activity outside. Ms. Nelson also offers ideas to help students before the end of the year because seniors have their slide and students feel burned out.”

Change to Chill week will occur Jan. 24 – 27 during the lunch periods in the cafeteria. The activities include coloring, writing kind notes for strangers, making stress balls and creating notes for loved ones, according to Abdi.