Cheerleaders give back to show appreciation

Seniors Allie Ingwersen and Kennedy Hecker, freshman Neleigh Kovar, and senior Brandy Barlean pose with some preschool students. The cheer team helped at the preschool on Dec. 20 as a way to pay it forward.

Renee Backstrom

During the holiday season many forget that it should be more about giving instead of receiving. The David City High School cheer squad has set a precedent for all others to follow by paying it forward.

Since the beginning of November, the cheer team led by Coach Tiffany Heins has been doing little pay it forwards throughout the school and community. A pay it forward is a random act of kindness to give back and show that someone cares.

To start off the pay it forward season, the cheerleaders assisted the Staching Through the Snow committee at Dales. They helped encourage community members to sign up for the third annual Mark A. Hecker race around town in conjunction with Stuff the Cruiser.

The cheerleaders then decided to bring treats for the teachers on a Friday. They did this to show appreciation toward the teachers for all of their hard work throughout the school year.

New to the schools is an elementary running club. The running club was preparing for the Staching Through the Snow race, so the cheerleaders encouraged the runners to keep pushing through by cheering them on as they ran after school. Bellwood also has a running club, so the cheerleaders left access early to go cheer them on as well.

For their next pay it forward, the cheerleaders each wrote a letter to a teacher who has made an impact on their life so far. Each letter was given to a different teacher, which goes to show the impact so many have made on the cheer team.

“What we are doing, I think, is a good thing to do,” freshman Madison Hoeft said. “Putting a smile on someone’s face is the cutest thing you can get from someone. When I pay it forward it makes my day because I made theirs. The feeling of spreading the love gets me excited!”

On Nov. 19, the cheer team not only helped with but also participated in the Staching Through the Snow race. This holds a special place in the cheer team’s heart, since it is in honor of Heins’s father.

“I personally feel like having lost dad at a young age has taught me to give back. The amount of people that came back and the stories they told me of him giving back with pay it forwards was amazing,” Heins said. “We don’t do it for glory. It is partially in my dad’s legacy and helping me cope with loss of him, but it is also teaching everyone that cheer is not just bringing spirit to crowds but helping others by giving back. Giving is better than receiving.”

To give back to others in need, the cheerleaders and sponsors also made two more Thanksgiving bags of their own for the Backpack Program so everyone could have a happy Thanksgiving.

The cheerleaders went over to the elementary and gave out candy with a little note to brighten up their day, in the hope of encouraging them to keep working hard. Along with passing on encouraging notes, the squad also went around town and put notes on cars, while also passing out candy at the courthouse.

Just in the same way that cheerleaders give back, the volunteer fire department does that and much more. The cheer team recognized their contribution to the community, so they took the members of the fire department brownies to show their appreciation for all that they do.

On Dec.20, the cheerleaders split up into two groups and went to the preschool to help with crafts. They helped the children make snow globes and gingerbread houses, and they also danced with them to a silly song.

Looking forward, the cheer team is also planning on hosting a “Beauty Night” at the Villa, writing thank you’s to the Sheriff’s office, and sometime in January they plan to make bookmarks for both elementary libraries.