Lake Orion NHS students support the WAVE Project

NHS students ask for donations to help homeless population in Metro Detroit

By Jim Newell
Managing Editor
ORION TWP. — Lake Orion High School students care about the world around them and are asking the Orion community to support their efforts to provide some essential items for the homeless population in the Metro Detroit area.
The Lake Orion High School National Honor Society (NHS) is hosting a drive to gather hygiene items, underwear and socks for the WAVE Project to distribute to individuals in Detroit.
Their goal is to create 350 or more hygiene kits to donate.
“We started this program last year with the help of one of our SafeEds (security), Ms. Beth DiFranco, who connected a lot with the project, which provides showers, clothes and other necessities to unhoused populations in Metro Detroit,” said NHS Vice President Ana Mahuad.
WAVE Project partners with community organizations and churches to help people experiencing homelessness and others in need around Metro Detroit (Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne Counties) by operating a mobile shower service, a mobile clothing closet and pantries. Each year, they provide thousands of showers, clothing items, food items, and hygiene essentials to those in need.
Last year the NHS collected items for WAVE mostly within the honor societies at the high school.
“This year we’re trying to expand that beyond just the honor societies to the whole district and the entire Lake Orion community because it’s such an important cause to us. We really want NHS to make an impact in the community,” Mahuad said.
NHS is collecting items to make hygiene kits and needs soap, body wash, shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste, tooth brushes, hairbrushes, deodorant and other hygiene items. All items should be travel-size and in unopened, sealed containers, said Ella Johnson, communications officer for NHS.
While the focus is on the hygiene kits, the students are also collecting donations of socks and underwear, sizes medium, large and extra-large, Johnson said. “We’ll take anything we can get because they definitely need those items.”
NHS is operating the drive throughout the Lake Orion school district, with drop boxes in the schools for students and staff to donate, said Johnson.
For Johnson and Mahuad, putting in all the extra work to run the drive and know they are helping those in need brings a great sense of reward to their efforts.
“It’s taken a lot of work and planning and it’s really nice to see it all come together and I’m really excited to see the impact we can make on the community,” Mahuad said. “Throughout high school I’ve really wanted to help people but wasn’t sure how to do it. NHS really gave me the platform to really feel like I’m helping others. That’s really rewarding to me.”
“I agree. I’ve always felt strongly about helping others, specifically unhoused populations. I never really had a way to do that before this. It’s really awesome to have a platform and a way to help people who need it. I think there’s a lot of stuff that we take for granted every day, like having clean socks,” Johnson said.
Anyone who does not have a student in the district but would like to donate can do so at the drop box in the lobby at Lake Orion High School.
Anyone who would like to make a monetary donation can mail a check to Lake Orion High School, 495 E. Scripps Rd., Lake Orion, MI 48360. Checks should be made payable to Lake Orion Community Schools with NHS WAVE in the memo section. Checks must be received by March 1.
Students are also making care cards for the hygiene kits, said NHS Advisor Michelle Lee.
NHS has several committees, each with about 8-10 students. The Donations Committee is leading the WAVE drive but everyone is pitching in to help, Mahuad said.
“If the community does want to get more involved the WAVE Project does need volunteers to go out and help run their shower stations,” Mahuad said.
More information about the WAVE Project is available at

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