Clubs make holidays bright for families in need

Students pose in front of gift drive presents.

Photo Credit: Dylaney Sabino

Students pose in front of gift drive presents.

Every year many children go without the surprise of unwrapping presents on Christmas morning. Through no fault of their own, some families do not have the capability to celebrate Christmas with a tree and dozens of presents.

This holiday season several of Glen Rock High School’s clubs have taken an initiative to collect gifts for families and make their holidays a little brighter. These groups include Girl Up, Interact, the Class of 2018, and Student Council. These groups post announcements and flyers around the school to spread the word about their efforts.

Girl Up is a new club founded this year by sophomore Abby Stern.

“There are people all year who give their old toys, but how many times a year do these kids get to get their own thing and have it be new.” Stern said, the president of Girl Up.

This holiday season the group is collecting gifts for the OASIS women and children shelter and asking for donations from the student body. OASIS is  located in Paterson New Jersey. It is dedicated to helping impoverished women and children by providing them with food, clothing and needs for infants.

Girl up and it’s representatives emailed OASIS and received information on the kinds of toys and items they would appreciate such as pajamas and toys.Their drive will be continuing through December 12th, and they are asking for new toys to be donated in the donation bin.

“This gift drive does not just rest on two kids, it rests on twenty, fifty, a hundred kids, however many OASIS decides to donate too,” Stern said.

Interact is starting a similar initiative this year by contributing to The Center for Hope and Safety.

“Interact wants to go in with baked goods and food and hopefully positively impact the lives of these victims who are all going through tough times.” Nick McRae said.

Here victims of domestic abuse and their children can find sanctuary from the terrible injustices they have to struggle with. Officers Laura Yuan and Nick McRae and other members of the Interact Club are working to bring smiles to the faces of children and their parents with food and reassurance this Holiday season.

Next, one gift drive has already finished as a successful event. This was the student council drive in which the student council works with Bergen County Social Services Association in order to sponsor two teenage students who write lists of what they would appreciate receiving this holiday season.

Katherine Bennin, a student council adviser said,  “Between the outside community, student council and donations from the faculty we had all of the clothing requests plus extra for those who did not get their wish-lists met.”

The student council met this week with the representatives of the organization they had worked with and gave in their donations to the teens in need. Bennin and Sonia Bawa advise the club and were aided by student council representatives.

Finally, the The class of 2018 student council, president Kevin Callahan and his officers, are also making an effort this holiday season to collect gifts. This year they are placing a box in the Hamilton lobby to collect donations for the Toys For Tots organization. Callahan has been doing something similar since his eighth grade year.

“I honestly just started it because I had everything I always wanted and I decided to start capitalizing on the time in order to help kids who aren’t in the same situation I’m in.” Callahan said.

Toys for Tots is a program that the United states marines operate, they collect toys every year to donate to families who cannot afford Christmas presents for their children. The Class of 2018 is asking for new and unwrapped gifts for the children in need. This drive extends until December 15 and anyone can donate.