Honor Society students wrap gifts for Angel Tree recipients

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

At Eureka Springs High School, giving

back is a big deal. That’s certainly true

during the holiday season, with National

Honor Society students wrapping gifts for

Angel Tree recipients before Christmas

break.

High school guidance counselor Rachal

Hyatt said the Angel Trees were set

up at several different businesses in town,

saying members of the community have

been buying gifts for students in need and

dropping them off at the high school over

the past month. This year, Hyatt said, 156

students benefit from the Angel Tree.

“They’re all local kids,” Hyatt said.

“This is the most kids we’ve ever had. It

seems like it goes up each year.”

Senior Brittney Halper recalled working

as an office aide and said she’s seen

community members bring the gifts in.

That makes it even more special, Halper

said, when she wraps the presents.

“I see how happy they are that we’ll

wrap the gifts for them,” Halper said. “It’s

been going really good. It’s just really

great to help out the community.”

Senior Faith Martin said the students

are staying on top of it, even with an influx

of gifts over the past few days.

“It’s great to see all the kids in need who

are getting gifts from the community,”

Martin said.

Senior Elizabeth Loudermilk agreed.

“We’ve received a lot of community

support, and it’s been keeping us busy,”

Loudermilk said.

Many of the students have been wrapping

gifts for the Angel Tree recipients

for years, including seniors Brandon Ray,

Gabi Bloch and Jordon Henley. It’s always

hectic this time of year, Henley said.

“With all the classwork, it’s hard to find

time, but we make time,” Henley said.

One year, Henley said, she got to take

the wrapped presents to parents. She said

she’ll never forget seeing how happy the

families were to receive the gifts.

“It was really impactful and emotional,”

Henley said. “They were so thankful for

people in the community to give to them.”

None of this would be possible, Ray

said, without the help of the community.

“I’d like to thank them for all their help,

and I’m sure the families appreciate it,”

Ray said. “Without them, they wouldn’t

be able to provide such a good Christmas

for their kids.”

“It’s awesome seeing all these presents

that go out to little kids,” Bloch said.

Henley agreed.

“We have 50 families this year, and

some families have up to six kids in them,”

Henley said. “We know the impact this has

on our community.”

With the help of the community, Hyatt

said, anything is possible.

“We certainly couldn’t do it without

them. The community is involved every

year,” Hyatt said. “We’ve never had a kid

that’s not served. Our high school kids

are always involved, and it’s a full-circle

experience that the kids get to see how

many students in our own community are

in need.”

It’s been mind-opening, Halper said, to

help her fellow students.

“It’s great that we can be part of the

community and have such an impact on

people we see around school and know

we’re a little part of their lives,” Halper

said.

Loudermilk agreed.

“It’s good to think about giving someone

else something they maybe haven’t

had before,” she said. “A good Christmas

is something we take for granted a lot of

times, so it’s nice to give that back.”

Hyatt said she’s proud of all the students

involved in getting the gifts to families

who need them.

“They’re just great overall. There’s 26

kids that are involved, and every year in

November, they’re like, ‘When do we get

to start? When do we get to start?’ ” Hyatt

said. “They’re very eager to do it. They’re

just good-hearted kids.”

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