BELFAST — As community service projects go, this one is win-win.

Student members of Belfast Area High School’s National Honor Society chapter have partnered with Waldo Community Action Partners to provide holiday gifts for students in need.

“We want to reach out beyond the building into the community to make our service more meaningful,” said NHS adviser Katie Naude. “WCAP is one of the most significant organizations in our community. They do a lot and reach a large population. We wanted to see if we could help them.”

Naude had Belfast NHS officers make the contact with WCAP, and a partnership was formed quickly.

“They reached out and said they had a grant to buy Christmas gifts for children and teens in need in the community,” Naude explained. “They thought, since our members are teenagers, too, that it would be great if we did the shopping.”

NHS members will be selecting gifts for 15 teens in need; each student has a budget of $150. The grant will also allow WCAP to purchase gifts for 15 younger children as well. That shopping will occur through WCAP.

Naude said her NHS members are taking the responsibility seriously.

“They’re being very thoughtful,” Naude said of her NHS students. “They’re keeping track of their dollars and trying to get as much as they can for each student in need.”

Each student in need, or their parents, submit a “wish” list. NHS students attempt to fill the list, within the budgeted amount, as completely as possible. When the shopping is complete, the NHS group will visit WCAP to help wrap, pack, organize and distribute the gifts.

Belfast Area High School senior Paige Rolerson shops for teens in need as part of community service partnership between the school’s National Honor Society chapter and WCAP. Photo by Jim Leonard

While it’s fun to shop with other people’s money, Belfast Senior Paige Rolerson says that is not the point.

“It’s good to know that we’re helping people in our community, maybe even classmates,” Rolerson said. “We’re their age and we know what they like, what will make them happy. We should be involved.”