Amy Chong

With the onset of the holiday season come those annoying phone calls during dinner. At least once an evening, the ominous ringing of the phone leads everyone to duck and hide. It’s just innocent souls calling for donations, insistent to advocate goodwill and satisfaction to everyone who complies. In reality, the constant calls are frustrating. There are other ways to help others, as shown by activities planned by local high school students. After all, it’s the spirit of the holidays to share with those less fortunate.

San Marcos High’s inspiring Kids Helping Kids benefit dinner made headlines with its student-organized and student-planned event, with all proceeds assisting the Unity Shoppe. Live music, an auction, and a three-course dinner at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree accompanied the event, all in hopes to raise an impressive $100,000 in donations.

Amy Chong

Dos Pueblos High holds a number of charity events, including the popular penny drive and a canned food drive also benefiting the Unity Shoppe. DP High also has a toy drive for children of chronically ill adults through the Dream Foundation.

At Santa Barbara High, charity continues to run strong. Student government – also known as Associated Student Body, or ASB – holds its famous dollar drive to purchase toys for underprivileged preschool kids in the area. Last year, the school raised $2,300 in donations, leaving the ASB room overflowing with wrapped packages this season. This year’s goal has increased to $2,500 to provide gifts for children next winter.

Dons for Change, a new club dedicated to social justice, just finished up a month-long discussion on classism and headed out to volunteer for the Salvation Army. Hearing facts about society’s unequal distribution of wealth prompted members to question how they could make a difference. The group sorted food for the Salvation Army’s holiday distribution to 300 families.

Along with fellow organizations across the country, SBHS Key Club held a canned food drive for the Unity Shoppe. Key Club is an international community service-based organization, which has held previous drives seeking winter coats and other warm clothing.

The spirit of the holidays is in giving and caring about others, with the hope that the contributions of youth remind everyone to donate their time or money this season. As if the persistent telephone calls aren’t enough of a reminder, make sure that everyone gets to experience the spirit of the holidays.


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