Olentangy Orange High School's Interact Service Club members have raised more than $1,000 to donate to Heifer International.

Olentangy Orange High School's Interact Service Club members have raised more than $1,000 to donate to Heifer International.

Student members held fund-raising activities, including a crafts and gaming event on Feb. 25, at which students paid to participate and also made woven bracelets to sell at an upcoming school event.

Through the nonprofit Heifer International, which seeks to end poverty and hunger through sustainable methods, students can provide livestock to people in need in other countries.

A donation of $1,000 would purchase a heifer, llama, water buffalo, three rabbits, and flocks of ducks and geese, said Heather Lantz, service club adviser.

Junior Elena Iakova has been in the club since she was a freshman and serves as an officer.

"These past three years, I have really enjoyed the aspect of working with others, and the feeling of making a positive impact on the community is a great one," Iakova said. "Without this club, I wouldn't have had the chance to meet some of the amazing people I have met or experienced the sense of achievement that comes from volunteering."

Senior Ginny Doan, also a club officer, has participated in the club for four years.

"I don't think I can stress enough how important service clubs are both to me and to the community," Doan said. "It not only benefits the people who are helped, it also gives students like me the opportunity to be more active in my community and to really make a difference."

Junior Ryan Jay, another officer with the club, has participated since he was a freshman.

"My mom and dad raised me with the idea that I should be fortunate for what I have," Jay said. "They told me I should always want to help other people who are in need of assistance. Our community is growing bigger by the year, and when this is accompanied by our hard economic times, there are more people who are in need than ever before. That's why it's important for clubs like ours to step up and do what we can to help tend to this."

Interact Club went through a long process before the members chose Heifer International as the year's project, a press release said.

"The officers all chose an organization they would like to help and created a presentation. All of them met over the summer, shared their presentations and finally took a vote to make the final decision," club adviser Kelly Cable said in the release.

"Heifer International is a very intriguing organization because they give animals to areas in need around the world," Jay said. "These areas then give the offspring of their animals to other areas in need, creating an amazing chain effect. By us helping one community, we're actually helping many others, too."

"We all thought it was interesting and liked how it helped people not only to live, but survive," Doan said.

"We voted for Heifer International because it is one of the worthy causes that we have the option of supporting," said Iakova.

Interact Service Club is Rotary International's service club for young people ages 12 to 18, Lantz said. More than 390 students participate in the club, which annually raises funds and collects items for people in need.

For more information on Heifer International, visit www.heifer.org.