PHOTO GALLERY – PNGHS students and staff join in community service day – Port Arthur News

About 240 students and half the staff at Port Neches-Groves High School descended on the community on Saturday with volunteerism at heart.

The group participated in Indian Gives, which focuses on city and school beautification, PetsGiving and more from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Jon Deckert, director of student activities at the high school, said they were probably the largest group to attend the event.

Indians Give has been around for several years after being canceled last year due to COVID, he said.

The projects were divided into categories with different groups of students choosing their passion.

Town beautification included picking up trash in Port Neches and Groves and painting benches in Port Neches Little League fields.

Beautifying the school was a big undertaking.

“We redid the whole yard, landscaping-wise,” Deckert said. “It was a huge project. We are now going to create a vegetable garden which will be maintained by the children of Life Skills.

The yard project was the vision of Debbie Poirier who works in food service. Colby Vanderweg of the District Maintenance Department also participated.

Other projects included creating a flowerbed on campus in front of the competition gymnasium and painting a building near the tennis courts.

“Then we had PetsGiving with the student council,” he said, adding that they collected about 70 bags of dog food along with toys and treats to donate to an organization.

The group has also partnered on a program to make “pooch rugs” out of t-shirts. Mats are beds for foster dogs awaiting adoption.

Members of the Southeast Texas leadership collected donations for Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital for people to use in the waiting room, such as adult books and toiletries.

The Criminal Justice Club has organized a car wash for police and fire vehicles and even a medical helicopter that brings patients to Galveston.

The Indianettes collected items to make blankets for the Rainbow Room, an emergency supply center for child protective services.

Deckert said no school funds were used in the projects and the students approached sponsors for donations.

He felt it was quite impressive for the students to roll up their sleeves and take on the work.

Jill E. Washington