Spread the Christmas cheer to those in need

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Spread the Christmas cheer to those in need

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For many, Santa’s Helpers is something to look forward to every winter.

Santa’s Helpers is a day for students to travel to an underprivileged school and spend a day helping out the kids and give them gifts.

This year, on December 2nd, those awaiting to participate can expect a whole new experience. Lauren Markle, this year’s organizer and senior of Granite Bay High School, has something fresh to bring to Santa’s Helpers.

“We are going to a new school we’ve never been to before, Kingswood Elementary in Orangevale,” Markle said.

Santa’s Helpers in previous years has been able to help out many different underprivileged schools. In December of 2013, those that volunteered made a trip to Lichen Elementary in Citrus Heights..

Kingswood Elementary differs from previously visited schools however.

“(Kingswood Elementary) has been rated a 1 on a scale of 10, so there’s a serious need there,” Markle said.

There has been a few complaints from those that participated last year that the school they visited last wasn’t in any real need of assistance.

“Last year, the school wasn’t really in need (of our help),” sophomore Taylor Wills said. “A lot of people said that the students there weren’t really that underprivileged.”

A different school isn’t all that’s being changed, however.

“We are (also) trying to work out some kind of correspondence between the kids and our Santa’s Helpers,” Markle said.

But that’s not all Markle has in store. She said that she also has plans of having different activities and crafts for both Helper and student.

The primary goal of this is to not only give the kids a fun time but to also eliminate any unwanted awkwardness.

Many students agree that Santa’s Helpers is positive move towards helping the less fortunate.

And many agree that the experience has a positive effect on them as well.

“It was really fun … and it’s a really nice program,,” sophomore Afrah Tahir said. “The kids are really charismatic and they’re all really excited and happy.”

However, despite going to underprivileged schools for one day, many agree that there’s more that GBHS could do to help the community.

“I definitely think we could do more,” Tahir said. “This school has a surplus of resources … and I think we should take some of that to help other schools to get resources that we have a surplus of, and they don’t have at all.”

Some students already have ideas on how the school could expand on Santa’s Helpers to help underprivileged communities.

“Maybe we could make (Santa’s Helpers) more than just a one time deal,” Wills said.

“It’d be great if Granite Bay could organize a program that helps a soup kitchen,” Tahir said. “It honestly doesn’t take much effort … and it doesn’t take that much money.”

Students are taking serious volunteer work into consideration. Tahir and Wills are just a couple of students out of many with ideas on how to help the community, and Santa’s Helpers is one way to do so.

“I recommend everyone to do (Santa’s Helpers)!” Tahir said. “It’s the best experience.”

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