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The Spirit of the Holidays

“I’ve brought several of my daughters to the office when they started to express doubt in the magic of Christmas,” said Hanover Township Trustee, Mitch Lopez.  “The contributions from Hanover schools are what the spirit of the holidays is all about,” he added.  “It shows children, like my daughters, that the magic of Santa Clause is real.”

students unloading gifts at Trustee's Office

What began as a few large bags with presents inside, quickly became a full blown Christmas extravaganza that will serve 200 Hanover children

On a Wednesday afternoon, with cloudy gray skies and an icy mix falling, members of the Hanover Central High School National Honor Society and Sponsor, Monica Kazda-Nelson delivered gifts collected by students in 22 Hanover Central High School classrooms.

“There aren’t a lot of opportunities for all students to get involved in serving their community,” explained NHS President Ryan Bourell, “but this is something all students could do.”  Ryan’s memories of his childhood Christmases included the realization that not all of his friends were as fortunate as he and his sister.  “It’s still the same,” he said.  “I know there are some members of our community who won’t have the kind of Christmas I will and it’s a great feeling to know that we can help.”  Like other Honor Society members before him, there is a feeling that the job “is not quite complete,” because he will not see the joy on the faces of those the Society has helped come Christmas morning.  “It’s still definitely rewarding just knowing that there are children who will have a better Christmas because Hanover students got involved.”

students sorting Christmas gifts

Students sort and stack hundreds of wrapped Christmas gifts

The Hanover Township Trustee’s Office has been providing Christmas Angel Tree assistance to families in Hanover Township for nearly two decades.  In addition to the gifts collected for families, the Cedar Lake Lion’s Club will be adding gift cards to Strack & Van Til for each family.  Approximately 78 families and 200 children will experience what many of us take for granted and they only dream of, multiple Christmas presents for each child and a renewed hope for a brighter future courtesy of our High School and Middle School students.

And The Pile of Presents Grew and Grew....

students stacking Christmas gifts

High School students with presents and a bike

students with a room full of gifts

“If I could speak to each student who bought a gift I would simply tell them, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  This means more than you can realize,” said Mr. Lopez.

To the National Honor Society that coordinated the event and the individual students who shopped the toy aisles…job well done!

 National Honor Society members with Society President Ryan Bourell, Society Sponsor Monica Kazda and Township Trustee Lopez

National Honor Society President, Ryan Bourell (on bike) is joined by fellow members of the Hanover Central High School National Honor Society and Society Sponsor Monica Kazda-Nelson and Hanover Township Trustee Mitch Lopez