The Gift of Giving

Key Club members emphasize the importance of helping others during the holidays.


Haley Stephenson

Christmas morning is one that many look forward to. However, for thousands of families across the country, this is not the norm. The stress and grief that affects low income families around the holiday season is something that many forget. This, however, only further encourages Key Club members to help.

“During the holiday season I think that a lot of people overlook the fact that many families don’t have much,” junior Shelby Erickson said. “They don’t get gifts, they don’t have family.”

Every year during the holiday season, Key Club surprises two families with what many consider a ‘Christmas Miracle’. Through adopting families for the holidays, they take the stress out of the holiday season and ensure that it’s replaced with joy.

“We get a family and a lot of the time it’s a single parent with kids so they can’t provide,” Erickson said. “We work closely with Hillcrest and we get a list of kids with a list of what they want, such as their favorite colors and toys. Many of them just want clothes because they don’t have any, so we’re there to give them necessities and many of their wants.”

Such a large project takes up most of the club’s time, yet they still take the time to help organize other side projects that help bring holiday cheer to others. This includes the Adopt 5K run that took place on November 4.

“We participated in the Foster/Adopt/Connect ‘Run for the Kids’ 5K,” club sponsor Erin Garvey said. “We were course monitors and cheered on the runners. This 5K helps foster kids find forever homes with loving families. They counsel and help foster kids that are 18 and are ageing out of the system. These 18 year olds are at a higher risk of substance abuse, jail time and unemployment.”

Giving these young adults the resources they need is essential to them thriving in life after being in the foster system.

Key Club also participates in the foster children Christmas party at Our Lady of Mercy country home on December 3. There, they play games and serve snacks to foster children in need.

Three year Key Club member, junior Cameron Duello, stresses the importance of volunteering year-round and not only during the holiday season. Members practice this through giving their time and donating throughout the entire school year doing projects such as Harvesters, Hillcrest Hope volunteering and donating to women’s shelters.

“My favorite thing to do is to go to Harvesters and work the food bank,” Duello said. “I love the variants in what we do because every time we go we do something different. I just want to know that I’ve given back to the community where I grew up and helped those in need.”

Giving back during the holiday season is not limited to Key Club members. All LHS students can participate in holiday donations such as the coat drive, toy drive and Harvesters.

“The best thing that people can do to help is when we do donations, try to donate,” sophomore Ashley Ritter said. “You can still always donate to snack packs.”

“We take food donations the first Friday of every month, so you can drop food off at the little theater anytime and it goes into our food bank,” Duello said. “It all goes to those in the community and those in the Liberty school district in need.”