Holiday Project Spreads Cheer

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In the spirit of giving and helping others, students and staff at Shoreham-Wading River High School once again hosted their annual “Holiday Project” prior to the holiday break. Since September, students in the district’s Schools Without Walls and Community Relations classes worked to plan and publicize events, as well as fundraise for gifts, home heating oil and dinners for area families in need. This year marked the 17th year of the great Holiday Project tradition.

“I never really knew there were people right here in Shoreham-Wading River who needed all of these things for the holidays,” said senior Matt Hellsten.

Groups of students were each assigned a family to help, although the identities of those families remain anonymous. The students began fundraising and purchasing gifts off their assigned family’s “wish list” in early September. Each class was also assigned businesses in the nearby community to contact about donating to the cause. In addition, the groups were given the responsibility of reaching out to local newspapers and encouraging them to contribute. This year’s supporters of the project include the Kevin Williams Foundation, Saint Anselm’s Church and the Real Life Assembly of God.

“Working with the community helps us to incorporate service learning while giving us an education about real-life situations,” stated student Jed Caldwell. Delivery of the donations was coordinated by school social worker Jackie Anci, and the deliveries were made the week prior to the holiday break. “When I deliver everything that we have collected, the families are always so grateful for all of the work the students did to make their holiday special,” said Ms. Anci.