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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

A class act: U-Hi leadership students adopt children for Christmas

Students at University High School have been thinking about what it would be like to have a Christmas without presents. If you are a little kid, this might not be such a fun holiday.

To help out, Titan leadership students decided to play Santa for area children. The Adopt-A-Tot program partners the students with Catholic Charities who help distribute toys collected by students throughout the school.

“We got about 70 kids,” said Colleen McMahon, sophomore. Those kids may be at St. Margaret’s Shelter or at Summit View Apartments in Spokane, which serves low-income families. McMahon and fellow sophomore Sarah Lamp headed the project this year.

Each day, U-Hi students have a Titan Advisory Period which is much like what homeroom used to be. Each TAP class pledged to collect money to buy two presents for a child. One classroom pledged to collect for four children.

Students received Christmas lists for the children, checked them twice, and brought the toys to Wally Watson’s leadership class on Monday. A wrapping station was set up in the room for those toys that needed it.

Sophomores Lacey Awbery and Sydney Eberhart found a challenge in the item they needed to wrap.

“I’ve never wrapped a stuffed animal in my life,” Awbery said.

How do you wrap a stuffed animal?

“Carefully,” Eberhart said.

McMahon said the present requests were reasonable. There were remote control cars, stuffed animals, Wii games and blankets on the list. There was nothing over $30.

“We were surprised to see diapers (on the lists),” McMahon said.

The leadership students will travel to Summit View today for a Christmas party with the kids. McMahon said she is looking forward to seeing the children’s faces when they open their presents.

Watson said the Adopt-A-Tot program has been a part of the leadership class for over 20 years. When it first started, the students partnered with the Salvation Army.

Titan leadership students are involved in many service projects throughout the school year. Lamp said there are two food drives during the year, two blood drives, a blanket drive and a shoe drive.

McMahon said last year the leadership students organized a T-shirt sale to benefit the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

“I don’t feel productive unless I’m working on a big project,” McMahon said.

But when asked, both Lamp and McMahon said the Adopt-A-Tot program was their favorite, since they were helping kids.

“Two people can run something that helped save Christmas for 70 kids,” McMahon said.