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National Honor Society Holiday Drive Supports 62 Framingham Families
Today was the 2019 Holiday Drive organized by the National Honor Society (NHS) at Framingham High School. Arriving into the FHS Auditorium lobby and theater, there was barely room to walk. Almost every inch of floor space was covered with boxed food, gifts, wrapping paper, and students happily wrapping and stacking presents. It was remarkable.
The process begins in October with collaboration with the social workers at each of Framingham's elementary schools. The social workers identify the families who could really benefit from this service project. The National Honor Society sends packets in English, Spanish, and Portuguese for the families to fill out, providing clothing sizes, favorite colors and activities, and their wish lists for toys. This data is then organized online so that the fun can begin!
National Honor Society members form four different committees to handle the many tasks needed to pull this off: Main Chairs; Food; Clothing; and Toys. The Main Chair members input all the data gathered from families and organize the drive. Selected FHS students, a mix of NHS Members and non-NHS members, serve as 'homeroom reps'. The whole school gets involved.
The food drive happens around Thanksgiving and when the food collection is complete based on need, the organizers switch gears to begin collecting toys, clothing, and donations. Homerooms have 1-2 student reps who assist with raising money to buy 4 gifts and an outfit for each child. The homeroom reps also shop for the kids and then as a group they wrap for 2.5 hours. It is estimated that they wrap over 800 gifts in this timespan!
The goal is to spend $50-$70 per child, although historically, some homerooms continuously spend more. As the Drive comes together, organizers contact all of the families personally to arrange pick-ups or a drop-off if necessary.
The National Honor Society has great support from the faculty who often donate, match donations, or shop for a child. They also get donations from businesses. K&S Auto in Framingham sponsored the Turkeys that they got at Market Basket at a discount.
This year the Holiday Drive supported 62 Framingham families and 164 children (Middle School age or younger). It takes 200 volunteers (most of whom are National Honor Society Members) to make this incredible service project possible - and it's been happening in Framingham since the 1940s!
The group photo below is of the Main Chairs and Advisors and includes: Marley DeSimone, Megan Sidmore, Brian Chansky, Laszlo Bernstein, Yonara Balcos, Citli Valencia, Susan Corcoran (Advisor), and Shane Galvin (Advisor).
Huge thanks to all who contributed, organized, and supported this incredible effort!