The Dependent Clauses began in November 2013. Founder Andrew Hausoul wanted to find a way to help struggling members in the community. His parents encouraged him to ask some friends and brainstorm some ideas of ways to help. A few days later, he and a group of seven friends formed The Dependent Clauses. The name plays on the grammar term they were studying at the time: dependent clauses, which is the part of the sentence that can’t stand alone. That significance as well as the play on the word “clause” made for the perfect name for the group that wanted to focus on helping others during the holidays.
The first year, they wrote letters and went door to door asking for donations, bringing in a whopping $2,400. The boys and their parents were able to purchase clothes, coats, gloves, and toys for three families they discovered through a local church.
The following year, they decided to raise the money on their own rather than just asking. The group, which grew to include 12 members, now rakes leaves, helps neighbors, holds an annual bake sale, and sells cider, cookies, and glow sticks at the Wilder Tree Lighting event. Family members and community friends also make donations.
The boys are now eighth graders at Sandburg Middle School. So far, they have raised more than $5,000 and have helped eight families and a combined 21 children.