The holiday seasons are a time of cheer and joy, a time when everyone should be comfortable and satisfied with their lives. However, celebration of the holidays does not come easy for every family. Families who are destitute and have low income jobs need help in order to celebrate the holidays just like any other well to do family. This help comes from churches or community service organizations.
The Palo Alto High School Youth Community Service Club (YCS) started an annual Family Giving Tree holiday gift drive to help low income families experience the bliss of the holidays.
“The Paly YCS-Interact club has been doing the Family Giving Tree holiday gift drive for a while now.” President of YCS-Interact Club Bethany Wong said. “They did it my freshman year, and it was pretty successful. I think they put the gift tags in a tree arrangement on a bulletin board across the Student Activities Center (SAO) two years ago. Because trees kind of shout ‘Christmas,’ we’re going to do another kind of tag arrangement this year.”
The gift drive will begin the second or third week of November. Gift donations will work through Paly students and staff taking a gift tag from the SAO. The gift tag will have the age of the child as well as the gift request of the child. The student or staff member will then purchase the requested gift unwrapped and bring it to Room 215 on Dec. 4.
Wong thinks it is important for the Paly community to give back to those who are not as fortunate.
“The holidays can be a joy-filled season and we should definitely try to share that joy.,” Wong said. “So really it’s about thinking less about our own wants and having an attitude focused on brightening up the season for other people who might not be as fortunate.”
Another charity drive that involved Paly students was the Girl Scouts clothes drive.
“The purpose of the drive was to help people who are less fortunate through the winter, which can be very cold and miserable without warm clothing” Service and leadership Team (SALT) member Emma Cockerell said, who was in charge of the clothes drive at Paly.
The SALT faction in Girl Scouts consists of multiple high school students that are from the Palo Alto area. Because the members of the SALT team are from Palo Alto, the Girl Scout members from Henry M. Gunn High School are also participating in this drive as well. Students and teachers donated clothes through a box in the front office. The clothes would later be sent to InnVision Shelter Network, an organization that provides support to impoverished families and helps them escape poverty. Although the clothes drive ended Sunday, Nov. 16, students are still able to donate clothes to InnVision in their Menlo Park center.