The Holiday Drive: MHS Shares Some Holiday Spirit

          It's the most wonderful time of the year. The streets are covered with snow and houses have bright, colorful decorations on display. Families were anxiously waiting Christmas morning when they get to open up their presents they got for one another. However, there are quite a few families who wouldn't have had any presents under their tree Christmas day. Many people are unaware that there are mothers and fathers out there who are not able to get presents for their children and that there are children out there who feel guilty that they can't afford to get anything for their parents. Fortunately, we had the power to change this, and by we, I mean those of you who are reading this right this moment. There is something called the Holiday Drive which Mineola High School proudly participates in.

Every year Mineola High School takes part in the Holiday Drive which is a generous event that provides gifts for children and adults in need so that they can enjoy the holidays too. This project is coordinated by Mineola High School's Key Club and National Honor Society. advisers are Mrs. Anne Lazo and Dr. Maria Navarra joined by the National Honor Society who's adviser is Mrs. Eileen Burke. This program took care of seventeen Mineola School District families and each school in the district gives three or four families to shop for. High school classes, teachers, administrators, secretaries, and even the family of two students who graduated several years ago "adopt the families" or donate money and gifts. Secretaries and administrators from Central Office also donated. "Adopting a family" is when participants are given information about their anonymous families' wish list, including clothing sizes, interests, and age of the members in the family. A bin is placed in each classroom for donation collection or some classes gather money and then the teacher shops for the family. This year, MHS students and staff members shopped, sorted, and wrapped for eighty-four people which resulted in four hundred twenty-five presents. Ms. Eileen Burke said, "In my opinion, this project epitomizes all that is wonderful about our Mineola High School community. Many places do toy drives, but I don't know of many other organizations who compile an actual list of what individual families need for the Holidays. Our "Adopt-A-Family" program not only help families who are struggling, but it is carried out with kindness, generosity and respect for a family's privacy. I am always proud to be a member of the high school family, but never more so than at this time of year." As you can see, this program unites Mineola High School students and staff members for a good cause to spread some holiday cheer and happiness.

Preeti Singh, an officer of Key Club and National Honor Society, shared her opinion about the Holiday Drive. She said, "I think it's honestly one of the best experiences I've had in my life because giving back to the people around you is what makes people come together as a community. Knowing that I can make a difference in a family's life and make the holiday season that much more enjoyable for them only motivates me to do as much as I possibly can." This shows how the Holiday Drive allows students to give back to the community that gives so much. If you think about it helping one family may not change the world, but it will change the world for that family and that is incredible. Jisoo Kim, officer of Key Club and member of National Honor Society, said, "The Holiday Drive allows me to give back to people in need. The Salvation Army doesn't get enough recognition for their charity and so when I was given the chance to help out, I gladly took it," which emphasizes the importance of gratitude. Students learn to be thankful for what they have and give some of what they have to those who need it. There's nothing more rewarding than that feeling of achievement you experience after doing such a good deed. 

The Holiday Drive is a significant event not only because it helps families in need by giving them gifts, but it forms a smile on the faces of the children and adults of those families which makes this program special and unique. A smile is the best present anyone can receive and that's what Mineola High School wants to give to these families through the Holiday Drive. 

Ziya is a junior at Mineola High School and is a part of Mineola High School's newspaper club. Once she starts writing, she can't stop. She expresses herself through words and hopes her writing opens up a new door in your life. 

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