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Murray Journal

Local high school students volunteer to support Murray-Midvale community

Oct 04, 2021 01:50PM ● By Julie Slama

After the “Power of an Hour”— 9/11 National Day of Service, Murray High students sort donated items to give to local shelters and those in need in the community. (Lia Smith/Murray High)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Murray High senior Emma Thompson is a varsity cheerleader and is supporting her squad becoming more involved in the community by serving others.

“When you involve more people around you, you have a better high school experience,” she said.

Performing service and being part of the community is part of what cheer adviser Lia Smith also wants so when she was approached to participate in the “Power of an Hour”— 9/11 National Day of Service, she volunteered her cheer team. Murray cheerleaders, student government and Latinos in Action as well as Hillcrest High’s student body and class officers held donation drives to support those in need in the community.

According to JustServe’s website (, it was a day to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks by transforming “9/11 from a day of tragedy into a day of doing good.”

Donation drives for food, socks and hygiene items were held at both schools Friday, Sept. 10 and Saturday, Sept. 11. At Murray, there were collection tables at lunchtime and donation boxes at their home Friday night football game. Hillcrest also had donation boxes at their Friday night football game; both schools had drive-by donation drop-offs on Saturday.

At the end of the drive, Murray High students sorted items and loaded a U-Haul of food items. Each food bank in the Murray and Midvale area will receive donations, Smith said.  

Other donated items were earmarked for local shelters.

Last year, Murray High cheerleaders helped with home renovations—scraping paint, replacing windows, painting, replacing front doors, planting flowers and more—with Little Miracles, a local nonprofit committed to enhancing communities. They also cheered at the regional unified soccer tournament for all the teams.

At Hillcrest, student body president Jason Mun said it was a great opportunity to work together with Murray High students.

“It’s great to partner with Murray High, to provide great opportunity for doing service and providing necessary staples for the winter for our community,” he said. “I’m grateful that we have this opportunity and for everything we’re receiving to make a positive difference in our community.”

Mun said that Hillcrest student leaders also plan to perform monthly service projects and possibly team up with international baccalaureate and National Honors Society chapter members to provide more students those opportunities.

“We want to increase our involvement and be able to help out in our community,” he said. “They support us so we, in turn, want to support them.”