Archived Stories for Union County Public Schools
Sun Valley High Schoolâ€™s 40-year tradition of helping continues
Sun Valley High School students have had a tradition of helping those in need around the holidays since the 1970s, but this year, they really outdid themselves by raising $23,500 for 38 Union County families.
The effort, spearheaded by the schoolâ€™s student council, fulfilled the month-long drive that asks each class to raise $500.
â€œStudents are asked to use business letters and involve the greater community in this approach to helping families at this time of the year,â€ said Josh Wall, the schoolâ€™s student council advisor. â€œThe families are chosen by the guidance counselors at the Sun Valley feeder elementary schools. This year we helped 38 families. Some classes raised more than $3,000.â€
The council also hosts a holiday dance on the Sun Valley High School campus for Sun Valley Middle School students. â€œThese proceeds also go to the cause,â€ Wall said.
Right before the studentsâ€™ winter break, three buses were dispatched to Indian Trail Elementary, Sun Valley Elementary, Shiloh Elementary and Rocky River Elementary Schools.
Elementary students at those schools, all from one of the 38 chosen families, are greeted by various student council members and then taken to the Monroe Mall to shop for clothes, shoes and a coat.
â€œWe shop in Belk for clothes (three to four outfits) and a new coat, and in Sears for a new pair of shoes,â€ Wall said. â€œThey shop at Wal-Mart for school supplies, basic household necessities and toys. Also, we shop at Harris Teeter to provide a big holiday dinner for the family. The National Honor Society helps out with a canned food drive, and we also distribute that food among the families.â€
When all is said and done, everyone is a winner. â€œThis event is truly a life-changing experience from start to finish,â€ Wall said. â€œItâ€™s amazing. The Sun Valley students, faculty, staff and community work together to raise the money each and every year for this cause.â€
Wall said the experience is an eye opener to many students as to the need for compassion right here in their own community. â€œThe gratitude and look on a parentâ€™s face when they are given the gift of providing a Christmas for their family is an exhilarating experience for our students,â€ he said.
Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: Jan 05, 2012 by Deb Coates Bledsoe