Giving Spirit takes ground through Rusk Secret Santa Exchanges

Hailey Morgan

Having the ability to help children have gifts at Christmas is a wonderful mission,” technology teacher Justin Hopper said. “It helps to create some ‘magic’ during this magical time of year.” 

The mission he is speaking about is Toys for Tots, an organization that supplies toys for kids who may not otherwise receive gifts. This year, RHS student council sponsored the drive.

“Toys for Tots is a great and established program that allows us to give back to those in our community that are less fortunate. If you take a brief look at their website they have distributed 604 million toys to 272 million children. That’s amazing!” College and Career Counselor Crawford Reyes said.

In exchange for the teachers giving toys for children, the members of NHS became Secret Santas to the teachers.

“Students who participate in this activity get a chance to give back to educators who dedicate a lot of time in their development,” technology teacher Grant Craig said.  “It also reinforces culture and the spirit of giving.”

In addition to the NHS activities, there was a secret Santa for the staff.

“The favorite gifts I received from my Secret Santa were the punny sayings & clues she gave me. Several of them made me laugh out loud. She did get me a box of hot and spicy Cheez-Its which is my favorite,” Hopper said.

The teachers filled out a “favorite” form so they receive some personal as well as some practical gifts.

“My favorite gift that I received was my Chick-fil-A gift card! I go through a couple of times a week so that was nice!” Reyes said. 

Overall, the donations and gift giving warmed the holiday season for  both students and faculty.

“Outside of the fact that participation in organizations is a good way to build camaraderie and culture, it is good to get into a habit of giving,” Hopper said. “All of us deal with struggles in life but most of us are able to give back, even if it is just a little.”