Neuqua Valley High School students are bringing holiday cheer to local children. The Student Council sponsored 25 kids through the Naperville Township’s Adopt-a-Child program.
Throughout November, the student council gets in the holiday spirit by collecting money. Their goal is to raise $100 per child to buy as many presents as possible.
“Everyone in student council collected at least $20 and then a lot of people collected even more then that,” said Kelsey West, Human Relations Co-Committee Chair, Neuqua Valley Student Council.
The kids in the Adopt-a-Child program create wish lists of what they want for the holidays. While some Naperville children want video games for Christmas, these kids ask for winter coats, gloves and boots.
“The need that these families have for basic needs leaves very little to provide for their families on an occasion like Christmas,” said Millie Rodriguez, Director of Casework for Naperville Township. “A lot of time it’s either you buy Christmas presents or you pay the bills.”
Neuqua is one of the annual sponsors for the township’s program. This year more than 150 children received gifts through Adopt-A-Child.
Part of the experience for students is spending time after school to go shopping. They use the wish lists that the children created in order to pick out the items.
“I think that a lot of people do it because it’s fun actually to go shopping and get everyone the gifts from their lists,” said West.
After shopping, Neuqua Students get together to wrap the gifts before delivering them to the Township Office. While the kids get the joy of unwrapping holiday gifts, they aren’t the only ones benefitting from the program.
“I’m hoping to alleviate some of mom and dad’s stress,” said Rodriguez. “But I think that it’s just as big a program to those that are giving. It has to do a lot with the Christmas spirit and feeling like your helping others.”
“It’s important to me because in general I like helping other people,” said Marcus Hurtado, Human Relations Co-Committee Chair, Neuqua Valley Student Council. “I feel like I’m able to use my talents and some of my time to simply make a day better for someone else.”
Neuqua Valley Student Council students say they feel like they were doing something good and plan on sponsoring children again next year.
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