Christmas boxes help children at Freedom House


Every year Northwest gave Christmas boxes to women in need at Mary’s House around the holidays. This year, due to the closing of Mary’s House, it was a little bit different.

With the closing of Mary’s House, the school didn’t know what they were going to do this year until Freedom House reached out.

“The Freedom House somehow reached out to me and said they were aware of what we were doing for Mary’s House and if we’d be interested,” guidance counselor Stacy Garner said.

What this arrangement consists of is a bunch of different groups at Northwest adopting

children from the Freedom House instead of the entire family or mother as before with Mary’s House and sending them gifts like pajamas, soap, and toys.

There are 15 groups that are being adopted by the families incorporated in this movement this holiday season.

Clubs and groups at Northwest such as Girls for a Change, Art National Honors Society, NHS, the front office, Hosa, secretarial staff and others work together to provide for one nine children.

“The children ranged from 18 months to as old as 15,” Garner said.

For Girls For a Change, Garner and the kids in the club were assigned to a five-year-old boy and got him gifts like a soccer ball, soccer goal, Legos and learning tools like LeapFrog.

“I think it’s a huge impact on them,” Garner said. “I hope that the five-year-old boy may just think it’s from Santa and not even know where it’s from.”

Others, who are older, will probably know about the people who gave very generous gifts to them and hopefully put a smile on their face during Christmas.

Giving Northwest students the opportunity to give gifts to those in need and spread kindness is a valuable experience for them and the people who receive the gifts.

All the groups involved work together and spend their own money to provide these gifts.

“The students are asked to give donations and are (also) given a sign-up genius to donate money,” Garner said.

This year the groups are still providing a great number of gifts but scaled back a little since they are trying something very new and sort of last-minute this year with Freedom House.

After this year, the clubs and everyone involved can decide what they will do next year and what they can improve on.

“Next year (we can decide) whether we will invite them all back and do the dinner again (like last year with Mary’s House) and making it more of a face-to-face thing,” Garner said. “We’ll miss a little bit of the excitement when we were able to give it to them but this way they can use the gifts to save for Santa or whatever it is they’re doing (for the holidays), it can still be meaningful for them just as much for them doing it this way.”

Even though this year the gifts are anonymous, it is still heartwarming to the students and faculty giving and receiving Christmas boxes. Giving gifts and spreading joy for Christmas is what the holidays are all about.