Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Spirited Drive on for Food, Clothing, Toys Students Working to Help the Needy

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Spirited Drive on for Food, Clothing, Toys Students Working to Help the Needy

Article excerpt

School spirit has combined with Christmas spirit at high schools, with students raising money and collecting clothing, food and toys for families and children for whom Christmas may otherwise be just another day.

In recent weeks, halls and homerooms of many schools were decorated not just with holly but also with decorated boxes and stacks of canned goods, new and used clothing and toys.

At Fort Zumwalt South High School, students raised about $5,000 the second week of December in a drive sponsored by the student council for the school's adopt-a-family program, which will help about 15 families.

"The kids really turned out for it," said Principal Tom Byrnes.

The students were spurred by daily announcements and pledges from teachers to match contributions of their classes.

"There is a real spirit of giving here," Byrnes said. "People know of the needs of other people."

The money is being used for gift certificates at discount stores and supermarkets, to pay bills and taxes, and in some cases, to buy water heaters and other appliances. Last week, the school's National Honor Society had a drive for new and used toys to be given to the toy shop run through Lindenwood College for the poor.

At St. Charles High School, the students used a giving tree to solicit gifts. On the tree were ornaments with the first names of needy elementary-school pupils in the district. Students would take an ornament and buy a gift suggested for that pupil. Sixty-five gifts were brought in. The student council sponsored the project.

Ada Craig, the student council's sponsor, said the students "really worked on this." Last year, the student council put 40 names on the tree and "they went right away." This year, she said, freshman students were especially thoughtful in taking names.

The council also sponsored a fund-raiser at Thanksgiving, when students paid a dollar a vote to determine which student was the biggest turkey in each class. That project netted $425 to be given to charity at Christmas. …

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