Giving back

Clubs and organizations spread holiday joy

As the holidays approach, clubs and organizations have made efforts to support others. See how four organizations are giving back during this holiday season.

Student Council

Student Council Treasurer Asil Mithani, senior Emeka Ohumaegbulem and Student Council Vice President Rahil Tanvir sort through donated cans and boxes of food. (Henry Pham)

During the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving Break, Student Council participated in the Metrocrest Services Thanksgiving Program by collecting a variety of donated canned foods from Oct. 21 to Nov. 15. The drive provided meals to local families and the elderly during Thanksgiving, and also supplied ingredients for meals throughout the year.

Student Council also contributed to LISD’s Adopt An Angel program, a district-wide program where students in need during the holiday season are “adopted” off a list to have their gift wishlists fulfilled. Their lists consist of food, clothing and toys. Families and individuals could aid by adopting an angel themselves or through donating money and supplies to the cause up until Dec. 6. In addition to the program, Student Council hosted its own Angel Tree toy drive to supply toys to angels who did not have their wishlist fulfilled. Donations were accepted from Nov. 28 to Dec. 6.

“The [Metrocrest] drive was pretty successful this year,” Student Council secretary Josh Park said. “A lot of the boxes did get donated, but we still have some left. Metrocrest will pick them up soon.”


Painted LovePacs boxes stand in BSU sponsor Alisha Hensley’s room. BSU students painted a variety of designs on the boxes for the holiday giveaway, ranging from seasonal designs to personal artwork. (Nyla Smith)

The Black Student Union (BSU) painted and filled boxes for LovePacs, a non-profit food pantry that provides food to students in low-income families. LovePacs gives a small grocery bag of food to students over holiday weekends and a cardboard box full of food for longer breaks. 

Rather than handing over plain boxes, BSU members decided to decorate 75 boxes for the occasion. Originally, BSU painted boxes for the Thanksgiving Drive that LovePacs held, but due to the lack of reaching their 100-box goal, it was decided that the club would extend their project toward the LovePacs Christmas fundraiser. Members painted and filled boxes from Dec. 5-9 and were able to paint boxes either after school in room 2235 or at home if necessary. 

“We don’t all have the same experiences during Christmas,” BSU sponsor Alisha Hensley said. “[It means] something different to all of us. I think that the holidays are definitely a time of giving.”

Hands of Hope

Seniors Eesha Kavattur and Eileen Collins read Kavattur’s return note from one of her elementary school pen pals on Nov. 30. Meanwhile, senior Janinne Ricarze writes a letter back to her pen pal. These letters were the last sent between the elementary students and the members before winter break. (Nyla Smith)

Members of the Hands of Hope club wrote their last round of letters before winter break to pen pals on Nov 30. Members each have a minimum of two pen pals from elementary schools within LISD. They write to them in their club-issued journal, which is sent back and forth between the members and their pen pals. 

These letters are meant to provide mentorship to younger students in the area and range from giving advice to talking about holiday plans. Members created goodie bags for their pen pals on Dec. 12, which included Christmas treats and a tree made out of foam with stickers that could be used to decorate the tree. A video was also made to allow pen pals to see their mentors’ faces.

“This just gives these kids an opportunity to interact with bigger kids,” Hands of Hope secretary Jose Gallegos said. “Sometimes they just want to talk about their holiday plans, [other times they may] ask about high school and if it’s scary. This gives [these younger students] a mentor and a friend to talk to.”