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Sun Valley High’s 40-year Tradition of Helping Continues

Sun Valley student council members work in the school’s media center to prepare some of their surprises for the 38 families they helped during the holidays.

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 school’s student council, fulfilled the month-long drive that asks each class to raise $500.

“Students are asked to use business letters and involve the greater community in this approach to helping families at this time of the year,” said Josh Wall, the school’s student council advisor. “The 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.”

The council also hosts a holiday dance on the Sun Valley High School campus for Sun Valley Middle School students. “These proceeds also go to the cause,” Wall said.

Right before the students’ 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.

“We shop in Belk for clothes (three to four outfits) and a new coat, and in Sears for a new pair of shoes,” Wall said. “They 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.”

When all is said and done, everyone is a winner. “This event is truly a life-changing experience from start to finish,” Wall said. “It’s amazing. The Sun Valley students, faculty, staff and community work together to raise the money each and every year for this cause.”

Wall said the experience is an eye opener to many students as to the need for compassion right here in their own community. “The gratitude and look on a parent’s face when they are given the gift of providing a Christmas for their family is an exhilarating experience for our students,” he said.



Written by: This article was provided courtesy of the Communications Office of the Union County Public Schools.
Posted: Jan 10, 2012 by Carrie Mabry

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