Oh Gift Tree, oh Gift Tree, how lovely are thy donations

Students, such as senior Guy Alberts, take ornaments off the gift trees to donate to a designated family.
Students, such as senior Guy Alberts, take ornaments off the gift trees to donate to a designated family.

This holiday season, the RAHS ASB sponsored a family in need. Paper trees were posted on the second and third floor balconies with paper ornaments, each with a gift assigned to them, so students could get into the gift-giving spirit.


Freshman Senator Jeremy Boyle feels that activities such as these encourage the student body to get involved and promote holiday spirit.


“The Adopt-A-Family fundraiser process is a program through the YWCA. It has been done in the past by ASB,” said Boyle. “The fundraiser was coordinated by the sophomore senators Heidi [Yagen] and Kenny [Pham]. ASB tries to give back during the holidays and this is one way we do that.”


ASB Treasurer Catie Stukel believes that the Gift Tree has been a great activity by helping a family receive functional gifts, such as clothes and shoes, during the holidays.


“I think it’s really awesome that some kids who don’t usually get a Christmas, get Christmas,” said Stukel. “It’s been an opportunity for them to get something they may not usually get; [they get] a lot of really functional things.”


As a change from past years, both students and advisories were encouraged to donate presents.  


“We’re getting quite a few donations.We have done this in past years based on advisory and so now we’ve opened it up to the whole school,” said Stukel. “Hopefully in the future people will be more willing to donate and we’ll be able to hopefully fund more families.”


ASB President senior Ashley Balbuena found that some students, while not donating the specified items, still found a way to show holiday spirit more than they have in the past.


“More teachers are actually helping out more with the Adopt-A-Family donation,” said Balbuena. “Plus, more students are also donating money, even if it’s just a few dollars. It’s easier to give a few dollars that are in your wallet rather than searching for things in your house to donate.”


Freshman senator Nick Ankuta believes that when it comes to the roots of personal growth and community services, the holiday spirit is very important.


“Part of the beauty of the Adopt-a-Family program is that you are impacting individuals in our community,” said Ankuta. “You do not know these individuals personally, but as long as you know yourself, you can simply have that sense of understanding that these kids are just like you, but without access to the same resources.”

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