The Smoke Signal, MSJ's Official Newspaper


MSJ Key Club and Nine Other Schools Host Week-Long Community Service Event

By Staff Writers Larry Shi & Varun Upadhyay

From October 26 to October 31, MSJ Key Club collaborated with Key Clubs from nine other schools in the Bay Area — Irvington, American, Washington, James Logan, San José, KIPP San Jose Collegiate, Milpitas, Piedmont Hills, and Independence— to host Division 12 East’s Murder Mystery Event, a week-long virtual Halloween-themed spirit event.

MSJ Key Club is a community service club with more than 80 members that hosts bimonthly service events to help its members get involved with community service at MSJ. Key Club members organized the Murder Mystery Service Week in hopes of providing community service and bonding opportunities for members across schools. “Even with the ongoing pandemic, it is possible to help people need [and] we should try to help others who are not as fortunate as we are,” MSJ Key Club Activities Coordinator Sophomore Jennie Wang said.

Throughout the Murder Mystery Service Week, there were around 100 participants across all schools joining the various Zoom service events over the course of the week. Each day was led by the presidents of the different Key Clubs from Division 12 East.

Starting on Monday, participants sewed blankets to donate to the League of Volunteers, a nonprofit that aids the homeless through donation drives and family assistance.

Tuesday’s activities had members bonding over decorative Halloween garland crafting, as well as making cards for “Send a Smile Today,” an organization which mails uplifting cards to cancer patients around the nation.

For Wednesday, students painted pumpkins to not only bond, but also spread awareness for the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF fundraiser, an event which aims to buy vaccines and school supplies for children in need.

Key clubbers closed out the week with their last two events on Thursday and Friday, where they mailed Halloween-themed origami to cancer patients through Send a Smile Today and had a final bonding opportunity through learning how to bake pumpkin bread.

 Attendees create cards for Send a Smile Today, an organization which mails uplifting messages to cancer patients all over the nation.

The week’s events were also hosted with an Among Us theme, with the Crewmates and Impostor being one of the Key Club Presidents. On each service day’s ice-breaker game, a clue would be revealed, and members would be able to vote out who they think “killed” Division 12 East Lieutenant Governor Senior Emily Vu from Piedmont Hills High School. The activities served as an opportunity to meet new people and recruit new members to the various schools’ Key Clubs.

Members thoroughly enjoyed the spirit of community service throughout the week — “It was fun to attend the events and see all of the hard work our club put in come to life in the form of giving back to those in need,” MSJ Key Club Junior Representative Brandon Sun said. Organizers of the event were also extremely proud with the turnout — “It was definitely difficult for our leadership team to figure out the event logistics … but by actively communicating with each other, we were able to pull off a successful week of events,” said MSJ Key Club Co-Vice President Junior Rayna Tsai.

The week  culminated in Key Club’s now-virtual annual October Divisional Council Meeting (DCM) — which students normally attend at a Division 12 East school — to give updates on each clubs’ progress during October. Although the Murder Mystery Service Week incorporated many interesting games  for members to enjoy, MSJ Key Club President Senior Avantika Sharma knows that their mission to give back remains clear. “Just because you’re home, it doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate the spirit of Halloween along with combining it with service,” Sharma said.

Cover visual by News Editor Alina Zeng

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