For 5 years now, the Jackson HoleHigh School’s Key Club can be found volunteering twice a year in the communities on the Wind River Reservation. The club comes during the winter to partner with the Wyoming Indian Elementary School offering children’s books and winter clothes to students, and in the spring to the Wind River Tribal College to help get a garden going for those students.
Today, they happened to be at the Tribal College in Ethete helping till the ground for a community garden that will provide vegetables for the student kitchen with extra’s usually left in the front lobby for community members alongside local volunteer Fred Groenke.
“We are all one big Wyoming community,” school psychologist and Key Club Facility sponsor Mark Pommer said. “And when we serve each other, everyone wins. The club brings students down to the Wind River community allowing them to see the needs of our neighbors and be a part of the solution in a small way.”
“As president my job is to make sure the club members show up and get involved,” the club’s president, Ryan Johnson, said. With this being his second time coming to the reservation, Johnson enjoys getting involved in projects that benefit kids and communities outside of Jackson.
Groenke, who is helping with the gardening, said: “If we ever want to improve things we need to make our children’s lives better through health and nutrition. With the costs per year for one person on dialysis, it is better to influence a person’s lifestyle and diet to prevent health problems.”
Groenke said his goal “is to build more gardens not dialysis centers.”