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RHS adds Ville Vault

Russellville High School Chemistry Club secretary Gracie Pounders said she remembers sitting in fifth period and overhearing two teachers looking for hygiene supplies for a student, talking about how there were none. From there, the idea for the Ville Vault was born.

Pounders and Chemistry Club president Melvin Maureeno decided that instead of having the Chemistry Club’s usual canned food drive, the club would try to meet the needs of students in a different way.

“We decided that since there was a need, we would try and make this an annual project for the chemistry club,” Pounders said.

After running the idea past Chemistry Club sponsor Nicole Watts, the two students created the plan, set up a point system and talked to Principal Jason Goodwin about incentives for students.

Students have from the beginning of December through January to collect hygiene items. Each item is worth a certain number of points, and each grade that reaches 5,000 will get a day off from school in the spring.

Items needed include everything from toothbrushes and shampoo to feminine products and deodorant.

“We all have a desire to help our fellow classmates, even if we don’t exactly know their situation,” Pounders said. “It’s nice to know that you are helping someone even if you don’t know the exact impact.”

Watts said some of the items will be kept in the counselor’s office and nurse’s office, but the majority of items will be stored in a low-traffic area in the Career Tech building.

“It’s an area where there usually aren’t a lot of people, so this way if a student needs something, they can get what they need without having to talk to teachers first if they don’t want to,” Watts said.

Watts said the closet will also be open for middle school or elementary students in need of supplies.

Pounders said she has enjoyed seeing all of the students come together to support the Ville Vault and hopes to see it flourish even after she graduates.

“Even if we don’t know someone’s exact situation,” Pounders said, “it is nice to know we are having an impact in someone’s life.”