Humanitarian Distinction Award

  • Who is eligible for the Humanitarian Distinction Award?

    All students enrolled in Orchard Park High School who meet the prerequisites are eligible to graduate with the Humanitarian Distinction Award.

    What are the qualifications for the Humanitarian Distinction Award?
    Students must show a commitment to the community by volunteering at various local not-for-profit agencies. Placements should help to instill an awareness of the multiple needs of the community while helping those that are less fortunate. Community service is non-paid work done by a person or group of people that benefits others that are in need. Community service can help any group of people in need, such as underprivileged children, senior citizens, people with disabilities, English language learners, and more. It can also help animals, such as those at a shelter. Improving public places, such as a local park, historic building, or museum also qualifies as community service.  The criteria for hours acceptable for matriculation for the award are listed below. The award is not for school service but for those who help outside of the school who are less fortunate than you. If there is an organization that is not on the list, please get approval from Mrs. Karalus in room 257 prior to performing the service.

    What are acceptable placements for volunteering?

    Please join the Humanitarian Google classroom to have current opportunities shared with you. Here is the code: ztqpsn6
    Volunteer hours should be completed with a not-for-profit group. There are many local places that are in need of volunteers. Internet searches, church bulletins, and postings by not-for-profit organizations are good sources to find volunteer opportunities. Hours acceptable for matriculation toward this award should meet the following criteria for community service, unless the placement is preapproved by Mrs. Karalus, the project coordinator, and the committee:
    Some suggestions for community service are as follows:
    Aids Community Services

    American Cancer Society

    Beaver Meadow Audubon Center

    Boys and Girls Clubs

    Boy Scouts

    Buffalo City Mission

    Catholic Charities

    Eight Days of Hope

    EMT/EMS Firefighting through Volunteer Fire Departments

    Feed More of W.N.Y. (To receive credit, it is required to work at the Feed More under the direct supervision of an organization-appointed supervisor. Home-based services will not be accepted.)

    4-H (paid membership required, must have a non-related supervisor)

    Fish of East Aurora

    Friends of the Night

    Girl Scouts

    Grace Guest House

    Habitat for Humanity

    Heart Animal Rescue

    Hearts for the Homeless

    Hospice of Buffalo

    Meals on Wheels

    Messinger Woods

    Ronald McDonald House


    Salvation Army

    Seneca Street CDC (Must sign in upon arrival to get credit)

    716 Squash

    S.P.C.A. (To receive credit, it is required to work at the S.P.C.A. under the direct supervision of an organization-appointed supervisor. Home-based services will not be accepted.)

    St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy

    String Works

    Teacher's Desk

    Trusted gives

    WNY Girls in Sport (United Way)

    W.N.Y. Foster Closest

    This is not a comprehensive list. If there are places you would like to volunteer but are not sure if they will count, complete the approval form and bring it to room 257. If you have any questions, e-mail the volunteer coordinators at Lkaralus or School service does not equate to community service without preapproval.

    How many hours of service are necessary for recognition?
    Gold Status- In four years the student completes 200 hours of community service.
    Silver Status- In four years the student completes 100 hours of community service.
    Bronze Status- In four years the student completes 50 hours of community service.
    Please note that in an effort to broaden volunteer experiences, students will not be allowed more than 50 percent of total hours for each of the following: religious service, school service, and sports service.
    What are O.P.H.S. placement procedures?
    1. Students must adhere to all rules initiated by the organization at the placement.
    2. Each student must represent Orchard Park High School in a positive manner at all times.
    3. Arrive promptly and appropriately dressed.
    4. During volunteer hours, cell phones should be off unless needed for duty.
    5. Credit is awarded at the discretion of the volunteer coordinator and may be denied at the request of the placement supervisor.

    What is the procedure for going to and completion of community service?
    1. Print a community service form which may be obtained on the Orchard Park High School home page. Here is the link to the form: Community service form
    2. A form must be submitted each and every time hours of service are performed.
    3. The form must be turned in to Mrs. Karalus in Room 257 within one week of the service date. Forms not submitted on time may not earn credit.  Only original paper forms will be accepted.
    4. The community service form must be completely filled out. Forms without appropriate signatures or with incomplete headings or phone numbers will not be accepted and will be returned.
    5. Please make a copy for your records.
    6. Service will be verified by a placement supervisor. Credit will be given with supervisor approval.
    7. Students may not be supervised by a parent or close relative. Please choose another member of the agency to supervise if a parent is involved.
    8. Community service must be performed after school hours and for a not-for-profit organization.
    9. Out-of-country mission trips will be awarded on an individual basis.
    10. Any service that is done with agencies that are for-profit or school service must be pre-approved and submitted to Mrs. Karalus in room 257.
    11. Only up to fifty percent of total hours can be awarded for religious service activities.
    12. Only up to fifty percent of total hours will be awarded for school or sport service activities. In order to receive credit for your placement, be sure to fill out the form attached below and complete it in its entirety. Forms that are incomplete will be returned and will not qualify for volunteer hours. Each volunteer placement form must be completed and submitted within a week of service. It is suggested that you make a copy for your records.