There are two programs in the school top help those in need this holiday season. Evelyn Amelio is in charge of the Holiday Help Program. In the Holiday Help Program the gifts go directly to GNHS students and their families Rose Anderson is running the One Hop United drive along with Student Council.
“The purpose is to collect gifts for our own GNHS students and their families who are struggling financially so that they can enjoy a nice Christmas and get a few gifts and items that they are in need of,” Evelyn Amelio said.
The program focuses on going necessary items like clothes and food, but toys are also common.
“A tag might ask for a book for a toddler and someone might buy two books and a puzzle. So, it’s hard to say how many gifts come in exactly but, I can tell you it’s a lot and it’s very heartwarming to see the generosity of those in our school,” Amelio said, “Many people asking for gifts are not asking for “fun” stuff.”
The program has helped over 25 families in the past two years, the average number being over 300 donations each year. Amelio has been running this present drive for all three years, alongside the help of five other committee members.
“There are so many different groups and organizations that reach out for help over the holidays and there are so many ways to help and show compassion and care over the holidays. I started this program because through my job here at GNHS, I was aware that some of our own kids and their families were struggling and had basic needs, so I thought why not start helping our own kids here, within our own student body and their families,” Amelio said.
Another one of the holiday helpers is Rose Anderson, who runs the One Hope United donations with Student Council. One Hope United is a foster home for children who do not have families. The organization cannot always afford gifts such as toys and books for the children, especially during the holidays, so drives such as these are very helpful to them.
Not only do the Student Council members help collect gifts, they also help spread the word.
“We have been asking other clubs, sports, and teachers to adopt a child for the holidays,” said Student Council president Krista Knuckey.
“The 15 Student Council members took on 40 kids this year,” Anderson said.
The drive began on Nov. 3, and they will be delivering the presents Dec. 5.
Anderson enjoys helping children during such as giving season.
“[I do this] because everyone deserves a happy holiday season,” she said.