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March 31, 2013

A way for teens to get involved

NORMAN — When I was in high school, I spent every summer helping other people at mission trips across the country. I spent several summers rebuilding houses in Texas, Louisiana and West Virginia.

Those trips were great and it felt really good to help those people, but sometimes I wish I could have made a difference a little closer to home. I know there were people in my hometown who needed help, too.

There are people in Norman who need help now, and there are opportunities for high school students who want to make our community a better place for those people to live.

United Way of Norman recently opened the application process for Teen Advisors of Norman (TAN). TAN is a community service organization for students in 10th through 12th grade. TAN meets monthly throughout the school year and members participate in several service projects.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for high school students to help other youth in the Norman community,” said Diane Murphree, TAN coordinator. “I encourage those teens who are interested in serving the needs of other youth and teens in Norman to apply.”

TAN teams with Rotary Interact for their biggest project, Stuff the Bus. The annual school supply drive collects supplies to give students in low-income families. Their goal is to collect enough supplies to help 450 students.

Other activities include an annual Thanksgiving dinner for Norman’s foreign exchange students, buying Christmas gifts for children at CCFI and making welcome baskets for students at Bridges.

Applications are available online at www.unitedwaynorman.org/tan or through the school offices at Norman High and Norman North. The deadline is April 12. Applications may be hand delivered to United Way or emailed to Diane Murphree at dmurphree@unitedway-norman.org.

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