This time of year, Student Government members receive a list and check it twice to give families in need a memorable holiday season.
According to junior student body vice president Sam Hodge, ‘Kids Count’ is one of Student Government’s yearly charitable outreaches.
“Student Government partners up with Children’s Hospital,” Hodge said. “We get lists from kids and their families, or families that have a terminally ill child, and we go and we collect money in each first bell.”
After each class raises money for its assigned child, the members buy and wrap presents, then ship them off to Children’s Hospital. According to junior Kids Count chair Sean Newport, this year’s fundraiser was a huge hit.
“[The whole process] went really smoothly,” Newport said. “We didn’t really hit many speedbumps…We wanted to be really organized this year.”
According to Newport, Kids Count exceeded its goals for this season.
“It [has] turned out really successful this year,” Newport said. “We have raised a lot of presents. Almost everyone got everything they wanted, which is really big.”
That success, according to Hodge, relied on the donors.
“We raised a lot more money from the classes and got a lot more presents right off the bat,” Hodge said. “People are in a better situation right now, and maybe feeling a little more generous than they were in previous years.”
Along with toys and traditional Christmas gifts, Hodge said the wish lists requested for items like laptops and televisions, which are useful for some family’s treatments. In one case, it was as humbling as a bed.
“My kid wanted a bed,” Hodge said. “One of the kids wanted an iPod to help with their seizures. So reading some of the stuff is really sad, but at the same time it’s really cool to actually see how much you’re helping someone.”
Hodge’s class ended up raising the highest amount of money, totaling $465. According to Hodge, he motivated his class to contribute to the season of giving through various ways.
“I told either a Christmas story or related things back to Christmas,” Hodge said. “Or I told an inspirational little short story to the class, and then I also gave them candy canes.”
After these past two weeks of raising money, Kids Count has given many Children’s Hospital families a holiday to remember, while giving MHS students an opportunity to practice charity.
“It’s awesome,” Hodge said. “All of us feel that we’ve done something really awesome for our community and for people that may not be as fortunate as we are.”