Bellaire High School Students Give Back during the Holidays
Billions of people celebrate Christmas every year. To many children around the world, it means the jubilant arrival of Santa from the North pole on his flying sleigh pulled along by all of his reindeer, including that famous one with the red nose. Kids and many adults, who are kids at heart, wake up gleefully to open presents. To the students of Bellaire High School this also serves as a time to give back and help people in need.
Project Santa is an annual event where 60-90 kids that are being treated at Texas Children’s Hospital come and partake in a carnival-like set up to indulge in the holiday spirit. This event entails much preparation and requires participation from several of the clubs at Bellaire High School, who organize this event by themselves.
Senior Mary Grace Urbani discussed why she and her Latin and Triathlon clubs decided to partake in Project Santa.
“Personally, I love children, Christmas and giving gifts,” Urbani said. “Project Santa combines all three. The smiles on kids faces are the best Christmas present. I think we often see holidays as a chance to get presents, take a break from school and eat good food, but we end up forgetting about those around us who might not be able to enjoy the same luxuries as we do. I think it is important for my clubs to participate in Project Santa because it is a chance for us to take our minds off of ourselves and bring joy to others.”
Junior and student council member Olivia Baba described the importance of her and the council’s participation.
“I am in student council, so it is really important for us to participate,” Baba said. “This is one of student council’s biggest projects of the year. We set it up, recruit clubs and make sure everything goes smoothly.”
Junior, Filipino American Student Association president and Junior Classical League president Chris Woodward talked about what he had planned for his booths.
“I am having to put in a lot of preparation for Project Santa since I am the president of two clubs that are both having a booth at the event,” Woodward said. “For Junior Classical League, we are creating a Santa ornament, which requires a decent amount of materials. For Filipino American Student Association, we are letting the kids decorate homemade cookies, and we are planning to bake the plain sugar cookies at a social the day before. These events require a lot of coordination with other officers and a lot of communication with our members.”
Woodward discussed how he wanted to do charity work with his club to show appreciation to his community.
“I think it’s important for my club to participate because we are giving back to the community,” Woodward said. “Bellaire High School and its clubs receive a lot of support from the nearby areas, so we want to show our thanks.”
Many of the students participating in Project Santa also participate in volunteer events out of school. Urbani and Woodward both volunteer as senior ambassadors for Evelyn’s Park and volunteer at the Houston Food Bank. Baba discussed how she also gave back to her community.
“I am in a few volunteer organizations,” Baba said. “I am currently setting up a holiday toy drive with Leading Ladies. I am also in National Honor Society, so I volunteer with them whenever the opportunity arises.”
As Mother Theresa once said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
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