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Student Council Spreads Some Christmas Cheer

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The VHS Student Council packed their sleds and made the trip to the Newark Hawkins Street School on December 20.
The annual toy drive is a huge undertaking for VHS’s Student Council every year. Students are asked to bring in gifts for children ages three to ten, so they can be given to kids who are less fortunate than we are. Getting toys for the fundraiser is easy, but getting enough to be able to give to every class at the Hawkins Street School is the hard part. However, this year the amount of toys received for the drive was at record highs.
The trip started with loading over 25 garbage bags filled with presents onto a regular sized school bus. Two-thirds of the bus was filled with toys, while the other third was there to seat the student council seniors and juniors who would be Santa and Santa’s elves for the day.
As one of the elves, I experienced so much at Hawkins that truly opened my eyes. This trip has made me realize that we in Verona have it so good yet fret over such silly things, while some of the kids at Hawkins have to worry about where they are going to sleep that night. While we complain about going to school every day, some children at Hawkins are excited about school because it has heat, food, and nurturing adults, something they cannot take for granted at home.
Each child that received a gift on our journey at Hawkins was so grateful for what he or she received, whether it be a brand new Barbie doll, or even a puzzle. One child, Lewis, received a teddy bear dressed up as a Police Officer, and he was on the brink of tears from the happiness that gift gave him.
To the kids that were homeless or had severe disabilities, we gave a “special” gift. These gifts were bigger than the usual and a little more exciting than just a set of racecars.
Many of these children will not receive anymore Christmas gifts than the ones we brought, so it is truly heartwarming to see how a community like Verona could come together and give back to those who truly need and deserve it. This year, we were able to leave five extra bags of gifts at the Hawkins Street School, while still bringing home ten or more bags with us to VHS.
The student council plans on donating the remainder of the toys to less fortunate families in Verona, and another school in Newark. Thank you to everyone who brought something in; you have made a child out there very happy.

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Student Council Spreads Some Christmas Cheer