Interact spreading holiday cheer

C-G’s Interact club is making Christmas a little bit merrier for a lot of people through their holiday outreach programs.

They have collected more than 200 coats, hats and gloves for families in need, mailed 120 letters to soldiers overseas and collected bags of food for the local food pantry, but their biggest project is still in progress.

For years, C-G has participated in Letters to Santa, a program that helps the Christmas wishes of underprivileged children come true.

About six years ago, Interact got 25 “Letters to Santa” written by kids at low-income elementary schools in the Chicago area. Students could pick up a letter, purchase the gift that its writer wished for, and bring it back to school to be delivered to that child.

“It was a program I had known was going on on a small scale,” Interact adviser Mr. Kelly said, “and I thought it was something the kids and the community would relish.”

He was right. Each year, the amount of letters answered nearly doubled until the school was collecting 700 to 800 gifts each year. If each gift is approximately $25, the school donates an average of almost $20,000 worth of gifts for kids in need.

This year will be no different, as the club is shooting for the same goal of 700-800 letters.

“We never want to disappoint a kid,” Mr. Kelly said. “We’ve always come through for them.”

The amount of students pouring into the front office Monday morning with gifts in hand really shows how much of a difference a group of high school students can make in the lives of many boys and girls this Christmas.

As Mr. Kelly said, “It’s pretty majestic!”