Adopt family, volunteering, among ways to spread holiday cheer in community
The holidays conjure up images of piles of presents, platters of decadent treats and merry activities like ice skating and building gingerbread houses. For some students, it is also a time to give back to others who may not be as fortunate. These students are the first to tell you that it is better to give than to receive. Our community has found ways to give back, to spread holiday cheer and to show that they care about others.
A common way to give back is to adopt a family during the holiday season. There are many local organizations that support identifying families in need and matching them up with families to adopt them. One organization that helps support many families in our area is KINDH (Kids in Need During Holidays), which is a non-profit that has been doing this for over 15 years.
There are some local families that may not have the money to purchase necessities, let alone holiday gifts. Children in these families, like all children, look forward to receiving new toys, crafts and clothes. Those who adopt a family usually receive a list of what each child needs and wants and uses his or her own money to help purchase and deliver the gifts on the family’s list.
Junior Antonia Roach and her sister, freshman Angela Roach, adopt a family every year during the holidays. “It is always fun to go shopping all together as a family and pick out all the fun clothes and toys for the kids,” Roach said.
Another popular way to give back during the holidays is to volunteer to provide a meal to a family in need. This can mean going to the grocery store to purchase the items and deliver them to a family to make on their own, to working at a homeless shelter to help prepare and hand out a holiday meal. Another way students give back with food is participating in canned food drives during the holidays.
Senior Morgan Siegel makes dinners for a nearby homeless shelter called Stepping Stones. She has been making meals for them for years. “We deliver meals throughout the year but we especially enjoy making a holiday dinner for the families that live there,” Siegel said.
Each year the PTA bakes cookies for staff appreciation. This is another way that students give back: baking cookies for their teachers. “My mom and I always make cookies for the staff, which is not only a fun way to spend time with my mom but also a nice way to give back, “ junior Jessie Grinspoon said.
Students who are part of the National Honors Society (NHS) got together to make handcrafted holiday cards to distribute to residents in a local nursing home. Each card includes a spirited holiday message and lots of fun decorations. The goal for NHS is to make and deliver over 200 cards this holiday. “During lunch my friends and I in NHS made fun and decorative cards for people at the nursing home to bring them some joy for the holidays,” junior Julia Bogart said.