By Jessica Easthope
The ornaments on Our Lady of the Snows’ Christmas tree are more than decoration, they represent the spirit of giving. Each one costs a dollar, it’s not a lot, but students give because they know what it’s like to receive.
“It’s pretty cool unwrapping that wrapping paper and seeing what toys I got and I want to be able to give that feeling to someone else because I want other people to be happy and not sad on Christmas Day,” said 7th grade student council member Dylan Thomas.
Our Lady of the Snows has been participating in the Tablet’s Bright Christmas campaign, helping every kid get a toy, for 15 years. This year, starting on Giving Tuesday members of the student council went from class to class collecting money and giving out ornaments to decorate and put on the school’s Christmas tree.
Student council moderator, Liz Flynn says the kids take the lead on the money and the message.
“We want everyone to feel the love of Jesus at Christmas time, when we do for others, we do for Jesus, we are a witness for Jesus by helping those in need,” she said.
The school raises around $1,000 for Bright Christmas each year, but last year they got something in return.
Principal Joseph Venticinque says the $5,000 they received from Bright Christmas was put to good use.
“It wasn’t money that we had allocated throughout the year so it was a gift we were able to pass back to the people and families who lost their jobs during the pandemic or that were unable to afford tuition for all that they give to us and our community,” he said.
And the kids raise money with the same excitement they have on Christmas morning. They even made a Bright Christmas commercial to encourage their classmates to give. Some students say they don’t take the holiday for granted – and want to make others feel just as blessed.
“It’s important because some kids don’t have enough money and their parents can;t afford certain things they want,” said 5th grader Madison Brooks. “Us, we can get whatever we want if we just ask and have good grades this way people can get what they would like and everything they need for Christmas.”
The students will bring their ornaments home right before Christmas break to put on their own trees to remind them while they’re opening their gifts they helped another kid do the same.