“This time of year is always known as the giving season and I believe what we just did really proves that statement. I’ve never been more thankful to be a part of such an amazing group of kids who are truly making a change in our community,” says Madison Phillips, NHS President.
The NHS toy drive benefits the Otsego Christmas Basket Project, a project that identifies families in need of help with food and gifts at Christmas. The OHS Student Council collects food in November for this project, then NHS steps in to provide gifts. The generosity of Otsego’s students, staff and community went beyond expectations.
The largest fundraising event was the teacher auction. Students bid on a teacher to win the opportunity to dress them however they’d like on the last day of school before break. Usually, there is a classroom donation war, as well, but because students like to pool their money for the auction, they made that the main event this year. The auction itself brought in more than $2800. The following day, NHS students cooked up a pancake breakfast at no cost, just donations, for the community. About 90 people attended this first-time event. There was also a craft show with local vendors. That brought in another $1200. Other donations and a $500 donation from Meijer put the total at $4700. “It was really amazing that we raised that much money because it just means that these kids can open more than one gift on Christmas,” says NHS Vice President, senior Michaela Triemstra. “I think everyone was excited about the amount of money we had raised, and that every penny was going towards these kids who totally deserve it.”
“It makes my heart feel so full that I was able to help put something together that is going to impact so many lives this holiday season,” adds Madison Phillips, NHS President.
The toy drive started 28 years ago with a few boxes places around the school for kids to drop toys and it has grown immensely! It is now a donation drive so that NHS members can go out and do the shopping with the specific kids in mind that are on the list. They take the kids ages and wishes and even out the spending across the list. It’s always an eye-catcher to see the kids with cart after cart full of toys go through the check-out line. “I was so excited for the presents we picked out for the kids - especially this big fluffy unicorn - and it made me happy that these kids would get to open something that they had wanted on Christmas morning. It was really rewarding to see the carts overflowing with toys and knowing that it was going to these well-deserving kids,” Triemstra says.
We want to thank all of the students, staff, community and Meijer to help make Christmas a very special one for Otsego families.