Hamilton Southeastern High School sophomore Muntasir Munaf took the phrase “giving thanks” literally during the Thanksgiving season by ensuring Fishers firefighters felt appreciated for their work.
Munaf is involved in DECA, a nationwide club offered at HSE. The club teaches students about business, and Munaf wanted to involve classmates in a project to give back this year.
“The whole point of DECA is to prepare students for business-related fields,” he said. “This year, I wanted us to do something else, like community service and philanthropic work and stuff.”
Munaf came up with the idea to write thank-you cards for Fishers firefighters. He enlisted the help of his fellow students involved in DECA, and the group distributed the cards Nov. 18. Munaf organized a club meeting before and after school to involve the largest number of DECA students in the project. Out of 95 club members, 75 participated and wrote a combined 130 letters.
“We wrote letters saying how thankful we were about the service that firefighters, first responders and EMTs do every day,” Munaf said. “This is all student-led, and our advisor just gave us the capacity and the room and the materials to work with.”
FFD Capt. John Mehling said the letters made working Thanksgiving a little easier.
“Fishers firefighters have a passion for the life they have chosen, but it doesn’t make missing holidays at home any easier,” Mehling said. “So, when students take the time to write letters to our firefighters expressing such appreciation for the work we do, it re-enforces that our efforts matter, the missed holidays aren’t for nothing and reaffirms our willingness to do what is needed, is appreciated by our community. We literally would walk through fire for these students.”