Student Association gives back during the holiday season


Photo credit: GPNSA Instagram

By Grace Cueter, Section Editor

As GPPSS continues through online schooling, it has proven hard to continue regular activities, but the Student Association has found a way to spread joy and safely give back to the community. The group meets remotely every week where they plan fundraisers and activities, as well as get some time to see each other through Zoom. Student Association advisor, Jonathan Byrne, said they have several goals and fundraisers planned for the month of December. 

“We are raising money for our general fund by selling Holiday Hug delivery boxes and we are raising money for Adopt-a-Family to help families in the district that need a little extra support this holiday season,” Byrne said. “We are also hoping to spread a little holiday cheer with our spirit week and music performances by talented North students, as well as writing letters to Santa through a program sponsored by Macy’s to benefit Make-a-Wish.”

In the midst of the pandemic, the Adopt-a-Family program is not able to function the way it usually does. Instead of having students buy gifts for families,  North is partnering with South to raise money digitally in order to grant gift cards to the families in need, with the fundraiser raising over $10,000.

Due to the limitations that Covid-19 has placed on what activities and fundraisers that SA can do, financial struggles for the group have come about. Senior Emily McCloskey believes that everyone who can afford to provide and donate, specifically to Adopt-a-Family, should do so. She says that it will bring light to many families’ holiday season, which is much needed during our present situation. 

“There are so many people in need this year due to unemployment so any amount you can give is appreciated,” McCloskey said.   

Along with the donation of gift cards through Adopt-a-Family, Student Association is promoting a program sponsored by Macy’s, where participants write letters to Santa. For every letter written, Macy’s donates $1 to the Make-a-Wish foundation. Junior Ben Sheffield explained that the month of December has been focused on giving back to the community with the holidays ahead. He said that writing a letter to Santa is an easy and important way to give back, as it comes at no expense.

Along with being impressed and excited about the fundraisers, Sheffield also explained that there are challenges as to planning and communication, but SA has found ways to move past those roadblocks. He believes that their ability to keep a consistent Zoom meeting schedule has helped maintain connection and communication.  

“It’s nice to see how we can work around the challenges and still find productive fundraisers to do,” Sheffield said. 

Sheffield also explained that they have chosen to do the specific fundraisers that they do because not only do they have a large impact, but most are also very accessible. For Sheffield, the activities that the association has promoted were wise decisions, as fundraising can be hard with our country’s current situation. 

Both Byrne and Sheffield have hopes that students will continue to show their leadership, proving that even in the midst of a global pandemic, it is not impossible to give back and raise money effectively. 

“Our goal is to create a welcoming, vibrant school community, whether in person or remote,” Byrne said. “I think we are doing that.”

Alyssa King, Contributor.