Public employees across the nation give back to their communities in extraordinary ways every single day. From donating to food banks to helping neighbors and protecting their communities, public employees have always been there when their community needs them the most. 

Here are three stories of public employees committed to servicing their communities:

LaGrande High School seniors reach out to their community by Dick Mason. In LaGrande, Oregon, high school seniors gave back to their community in extraordinary ways through their Tigers Give Back Day. All 180 seniors at LaGrande High School participated in the event, including singing for seniors at retirement centers, splitting firewood, cleaning up the county’s fairgrounds, and painting the district’s elementary school. “I was super proud of them,” LHS teacher Kristy Moore, who helped organize the program, said. “Whatever we asked of them, they were excited to jump in.”

Swoyersville man returns home after volunteering in Ukraine for 11 weeks by Sarah Goolden. A retired police officer from Swoyersville, Pennsylvania who has been volunteering his time for the last eleven weeks in Ukraine has just returned home. Daniel Griffin has been helping build medical stations, helping refugees, and assisting with shipping logistics of medical supplies from Poland. “It’s evolving, you know, it’s not going to go away. We need to continue to support them every way we can. I mean, we’re doing military, but we also need to plug in some financial assistance for them. I just asked people to think about that and pick your own charity, but we’ll certainly plug in anything that comes our way into where we believe it should be. So just pray for the people and you know, the pray for peace, but it’s going to be a long-drawn-out winter. And so, they’re really going to need our help,” said Griffin.

Watertown High School’s INTERACT hosts annual rake fest by Nicole Eithun. On November 5th, the Watertown High School Student Rotary, INTERACT, is holding its 28th annual Rake Fest, which includes students raking the lawns of seniors in their community in Watertown, New York. “We traditionally have over 100 students, teachers, and community members who volunteer to provide this service to those in our community who need help getting the leaves off their lawns before winter. Typically we rake over 70 lawns and this year we’d like to do even more. Our school is full of compassionate and conscientious young people and events like this give them a chance to show how really special they are,” said Watertown High School history teacher and INTERACT advisor Chris Kemp. The volunteer service is available to seniors who register in advance.