S.A.V.E. Promise Club: Helping the Community During the Pandemic

Amelia Liu,

Life for students, especially during the pandemic, can be overwhelming. There are young people who suffer silently in every school and community across the country because they feel excluded, alone, or unseen. Those who feel isolated are more likely to be bullied, violent, or depressed. The S.A.V.E. Promise Club (Students Against Violence Everywhere) works to create a kind and caring environment to prevent gun violence, self-harm, and other forms of violence before they occur. The club works in collaboration with Sandy Hook Promise, an organization created after the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012.

As a relatively new club to SHS, the S.A.V.E. Promise Club has not yet experienced a normal school year, but they plan to implement interactive events and activities to create a sense of inclusiveness and community. Some examples of planned activities throughout the year include organizing school-wide poster making, social media and video campaigns, as well as contests that demonstrate youth voice and how students are creating safer classrooms and schools. In addition, leading back to school events or activities at key points throughout the year – such as Youth Mental Health Awareness Month and Bullying Prevention Month, the club brings awareness to violence prevention. While S.A.V.E. doesn’t operate in the high school, they engage the community by coordinating events such as kindness days or days of service and leadership, hosting information tables at town events, taking advocacy actions like signing petitions, raising money, and encouraging community members to call local representatives regarding new legislation.

This year, the club has hosted several “COVID-friendly” initiatives and events. In the fall, members of the club painted “Kindness Rocks” (small rocks and shells with kind, colorful, creative messages on them) and spread them around the community. “The beauty about the Kindness Rocks is that they are so simple, but they can have profound impacts. Even just short messages like ‘Take a Breath’ or ‘You got this!’ can bring people the encouragement that they need to get through these difficult times,”  explained Vice President of the  S.A.V.E. Promise Club Carly Gelles ’23. 

During COVID, the club’s primary goal is reminding people to reach out to others, some of whom may be feeling anxious and  isolated. The club often discusses ways to help or connect with those who may be struggling, as well as how to identify the signs of self-harm or violence. By educating students on these topics, the club hopes to prevent further violence in the future. Current events issues such as the rise in AAPI hate are also relevant, as the club’s core mission is to inspire connection and eradicate hatred towards different groups. “Throughout the year, we have worked to promote inclusivity and continuously put an emphasis on the importance of not only accepting but celebrating each other’s differences. Situations like these are occurring way too often across our nation. We plan to confront these issues by engaging in discussions about the root of this hatred and discuss how we can help to put an end to it,” said President of the S.A.V.E. Promise Club Sasha Forman ’23.