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As the holiday season approaches, houses are decorated, presents are bought and families reunite. With colder air and shorter days, Staples students look forward to the gifts they will receive and the food they will eat.
To math teacher Stacey Delmhorst, however, the holiday season is about giving rather than receiving. Therefore, she created a way for students to give back to lower income students by “adopting” a student for each of her five classes to buy and wrap holiday presents.
“It all started around when [Staples was] focusing on the new guiding principles,” Delmhorst said, “so kindness with sincerity is where I took it from. I thought wouldn’t it be amazing if I could adopt a child for each of my five classes and we could give that child a holiday.”
Not only is this one of Delmhorst’s favorite ways to celebrate the holidays, but the students also appreciated the opportunity to give back.
“My favorite part was putting all of the gifts together and seeing the pile of gifts that was going to make our kid so happy,” Kelley Schutte ’20 said.
Whether they bought toys, a winter jacket or a toothbrush, Schutte was happy knowing that she made someone else’s holiday better.
“I love giving gifts especially knowing that the student will appreciate them,” Tomaso Scotti ’19 said.
Scotti believes that wrapping presents for those who cannot afford it is a really special way to celebrate the holidays and believes other classes should follow in Delmhorst’s footsteps.
Parents have also been grateful their children are able to give back, and some have even offered to help purchase any gifts on the child’s list that were not already bought.
Delmhorst noticed that in addition to experiencing the joy of giving to others, the students benefited from this project by working together.
“I see people working together and talking that I have never seen sit or talk together in class,” Delmhorst said. “It brings everyone together in a way that is a special.”