A tradition lives on in Pacelli
Published 10:38 am Thursday, December 18, 2014
Pacelli students went on a shopping spree, but they aren’t keeping any of their purchases.
Pacelli middle and high schoolers went to Shopko Wednesday morning to spend about $3,500 on families and children for Christmas. The students bought gifts for 32 children, and helped 14 families.
“This is about the 35th annual one, and we have about $70 to spend on each child for Christmas presents,” religion teacher Richard Benson said.
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The students formed groups of about five students, chose an anonymous child with a gender and age, and picked out gifts for them. Senior Sarah Kahle’s group chose a 6-year-old boy.
“We are getting him clothing and different toys so they have something provided for them during the winter that’s definitely necessary, and you know, kind of little additives on the side,” she said.
Sarah has taken part in this tradition throughout her school career and said each year it gets better.
“My favorite part is just the involvement and people coming together,” Kahle said.
The students helped in the fundraising project, going to different parishes and asking for donations. One group even raised about $500 at just one mass.
“It makes me so happy, joyful, proud,” Benson said. “It’s a very fulfilling day and after everything is said and done, I just get such a thrill that we were able to help so many people.”
He said he couldn’t be prouder of the students than when he sees them helping others and giving of themselves.
For sophomore Francisco Rosas, this is the second year shopping and raising money.
“I really like this tradition,” Rosas said. “I was surprised that it was 30 years they’ve been doing this. I thought, ‘Wow this is amazing.’”
While he enjoyed that chance to miss some class time to help families, he also learned a valuable lesson outside of the classroom as he gathered donations and shopped for children and families.
“I learned that you receive more when you give more,” he said.
The gifts will be distributed after a blessing on Friday. Pacelli alumni will help distribute the gifts to the anonymous families.