Holiday fundraisers spread the cheer among students

December 7, 2012 — by Michelle Leung and Amy Lin

As shops and houses around town put up decorations in preparation for the holiday season, the school prepares itself for the numerous amount of fundraisers it plans for the end of the year.

As shops and houses around town put up decorations in preparation for the holiday season, the school prepares itself for the numerous amount of fundraisers it plans for the end of the year.

The administration is hosting the Family Tree’s Holiday Wish Drive, one of the many fundraisers at school. Students can support the fundraiser by finding gifts listed on the tags hanging from boughs in the office.

“There are kids around the valley who have nothing for Christmas,” said administrative assistant Susan Dini, who is in charge of the fundraiser. “There are codes for each student, and they put in their Christmas wishes. Students can just pick up the tags, attach it to the package and bring it into the office.”

Although many students look forward to holiday gifts, many families around Silicon Valley do not have gifts to look forward to. The items these less fortunate children want are of no big consequence, often just a brush or coloring book, but regardless a present on Christmas Day means a lot to them.

“All of us get really excited for presents, and lots of [children] don’t have that chance,” senior community commissioner Shireen Kaul said.

For Kaul, the biggest reward in joining fundraisers is the good anyone can do, no matter how small.

“It’s really nice to be able to get presents for peers; it’s a lot more relatable,” Kaul said. “At least we can make that one kid happy.”

In addition to the Wish Drive, the Harvest Food Bank’s Can Drive is also an easy way to give back to the community.

According to community commissioner senior Samika Kumar, those who donate gain back something too.

“Anyone can donate or volunteer somewhere,” Kumar said. “But when you do it as a school, it creates a sense of unity. From these fundraisers, I hope that we can become more aware of those less fortunate than us in the community.”

In previous years, commissioners have simply encouraged students to donate. Sometimes, teachers offer extra credit as well. In fact, Kaul’s most favorite memory is of the extra credit incentive offered for cans by one of her teachers.

“Last year, Mr. Torrens offered extra credit, and our class went crazy about bringing in cans,” Kaul said.

This year’s fundraiser differs from previous years because of another added incentive: the class competition.

Seniors and freshmen will join forces against juniors and sophomores.

“The fundraiser has been going on for a while, but this is the first year it has been classes against each other,” Kaul said.

I just hope that we get as well a turnout as we have this year. And maybe we can fill up the cans.”

Of course, students are encouraged to donate not just for the competition, but also for meaning and thought behind supporting people in their community.

“A lot of times, since most people in Saratoga are well off, we forget about the rest who don’t have as much,” Kaul said. “It’s always great to give back, especially during the holiday season. Even if you have extra food, even if it’s just one family, you can still give food to their children.”

Many clubs also show holiday spirit through different independent fundraisers, from FBLA club selling hot chocolate to Interact club selling holiday treats.

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