The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

‘Tis the season of giving: cozy causes worth melting for

Photo courtesy of Samaritan’s Purse International Relief
Children in the Philippines are all smiles and full of laughter when receiving their shoebox from Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child Initiative. This initiative is one example of many that aims to spread the holiday joy to less fortunate children.

December. A season of external cold, but internal warmth. A season where friends and family reunite and most importantly, express their joy with one another through gift giving. The best gift anyone can receive is the joy felt when giving to others.  With the holidays around the corner, here are some charity organizations WCHS students can donate to to encourage the spread of the holiday joy by paying it forward. 

Toys for Tots

Despite the holiday season being known for the plentiful, wondrous gifts one can receive, many children in the U.S. do not receive presents due to their difficult family circumstances. Toy for Tots, run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, aims to change the fate of these less fortunate children during the holiday season by providing them with new unused toys.

This charitable program brings instant joy and hope, enabling the children to see a brighter future amidst their current circumstances. Throughout December, WCHS students can help this initiative by donating toys to any drop-off location in their local community. WCHS students can also offer to host a drop-off site by registering a location through the Montgomery County Toy For Tot’s website. Donations may also be made through their website, for those who do not have much time in their hands, by creating a virtual toy box, where the Marine Corps will directly receive and assemble a toy box according to the toys an individual purchased online. By Christmas Day, the Marine Corps will have distributed all the toys to various communities in need throughout the U.S. Countless toys would no longer be lonely on store shelves but instead in the hands of a long-lasting companion, just as they should be. 

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Operation Christmas Child

When an individual purchases or receives a new pair of shoes, they can be quick to put on the new pair and discard the box without a second thought. However, WCHS students should keep hold of their shoe boxes, as they can be just as important. 

Operation Christmas Child is a project under the Samaritan’s Purse organization striving to uplift the holiday spirit in children affected by war, poverty, natural disasters, famine and disease through small but meaningful packages. These packages, typically a shoebox, contain things like candy, toys, hygiene essentials, clothes and school supplies. 

WCHS students can assemble a package by first creating a label through the charity’s website. They can choose the gender and particular age group they would like their package to appeal to. Then, they can venture out to purchase gifts that would best suit the categories given on their label. Adding a personal photo and a letter is also encouraged to make the package more individualized, as many who receive these packages have never received a holiday gift before.

 Once the package is complete, it can be dropped off at one of the listed drop-off locations. From there, using the QR code on the label, WCHS students can track the journey of their package and ultimately see the holiday joy reach its destination. 

Salvation Army Angel Tree

One thing that many children look forward to is sending off their Christmas wishlist to Santa Claus. When they grow up, they might be disappointed to find that he is not real, but they instead gain the realization that Santa is simply a symbol for the joy of giving. 

The Salvation Army Angel Tree project is a collaboration between the Salvation Army organization and Walmart, with their mission being for every child to experience the excitement of opening presents during the holiday season. 

Any WCHS student can embody the Santa Claus spirit and help make a child’s wishlist come true by heading to Walmart. There they will find a Christmas tree adorned with many tags with information about specific children and their Christmas wish lists. Then, with the convenience of being at a Walmart, they can add the items noted on the tag to their shopping list and drop off the items back under the tree so they can appear under the child’s tree on Christmas day. 

St. Jude

Under the Christmas tree lie presents of all different sizes, colors and patterns. They hold the power to cure the sickness of sadness,releasing immediate happiness into the air once unraveled. A special gift not necessarily wrapped in paper with a fancy bow on top, however, is the gift of good health. 

St. Jude is a research hospital devoted to finding ways of prevention and possible cures for pediatric diseases such as cancer. They accept generous donations year-round and individuals can directly pledge donations on their website or purchase items from their online store. Donations are crucial in helping St. Jude function, as the acquired donations not only help fund research, but also cover the cost of life-saving treatment for their patients. 

Their online store sells holiday-themed decorations, apparel, toys and other everyday essentials. When considering where to shop during the holiday season, St. Jude’s store may be a good option, as purchasing one item can potentially save a life. 

No matter which organization WCHS students decide to donate to, their contribution will make another person’s holiday more merry and bright. In return, the joyful spirit inside of them will grow and further radiate toward others. 


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About the Contributor
Catherine Chan
Catherine Chan, Assistant Online Editor
Catherine Chan is currently a junior at WCHS and the Assistant Online Editor for the 2023-2024 school year. She is excited to work with new people this year and continue her passion for writing. Outside of school, she is a competitive swimmer and lyrical dancer.

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