Piedmont’s New Service Initiative Gives Back


Student government members Andy Tepera (left) and John Curtis (right) preparing care packages with student government advisor Annette Harris (middle).

Lindsey Powell, Journalist

Friday, December 16, Piedmont High School began its first school-wide community service initiative. Inspired by a similar model at Wingate University, Piedmont’s student government organized One Day, One Panther as an opportunity to give back to unsung heroes.

Originally proposed during the pandemic, One Day, One Panther has been a project in the making for several years within student government. “Our then president, Hudson Shank, brought this idea to Mrs. Forbis and I, and we finally had the opportunity to make it come to fruition,” said Annette Harris, student government advisor alongside Britney Forbis.

“We have taken a survey of needs in our community from Hometown Heroes, Big Kids Helping Little Kids to Union County Community Shelter and our medical staff,” said Harris. “One Day, One Panther is one physical hour of time that students and staff at Piedmont High School are putting aside for service learning.”

Each building on campus was assigned a specific collection item for donations. Student government members acted as building captains, tasked with communicating the essence of the initiative and encouraging student and staff participation. 

“The building leaders facilitated One Day, One Panther by coordinating with teachers and explaining to them what this whole activity was about,” said junior Bhanuja Ganni, student government captain of buildings B and C. “Students contributed and made this happen by donating a variety of items like non-perishables, gift cards, and care packages, making posters and handwritten cards to send support to veterans and health care workers,” said Ganni.

Harris hopes that students will recognize the importance of this project and its need to continue. “[A]lone we may be a small force, but together, one day, one hour, one Panther we generate 1300 hours of service learning in the spirit of the season for our community,” said Harris. “It only takes a spark to get it started. This is our spark, and hopefully it will be a legacy that your class and your peers will carry on.”

Ganni’s primary focus was educating the students on the significance of being an active member of the community. “Our goal as a community is to lead everyone’s shared efforts to allow individuals to reach their full potential,” Ganni said.

This support and kindness can make a big impact on someone in need. One Day, One Panther has empowered the community, giving life to a spark that has been developing for years. With student and staff support, this initiative can catch fire and continue to blaze for the unsung heroes working behind the scenes for the safety and betterment of others.