Many kids are excited this time of year because of the toys and gifts they receive for the holidays. Unfortunately, there are some children who are unable to get gifts this year because of certain circumstances, including Covid. That is where the National Honor Society (NHS) group came into play to spread some holiday cheer. 

      Westfield’s four NHS board members, Dao Tran, 12, Ayonnah Tinsley, 12, Dana Elobaid, 12, and Grace Kim, 12, decided to run holiday drives with the organization Women Giving Back. As NHS board members, their tasks vary from planning monthly meetings to organizing volunteer works within the community. The board members and sponsors came across many problems finding community service opportunities that followed pandemic restrictions. With lots of thought and preparation, they figured out a way to help the community in a Covid-friendly way. 

      On behalf of Women Giving Back, a non-profit organization based in the DC metro area that supports women and children in crisis, NHS choose four different drives to collect donations for the Holiday Gifts for Kids program. Team Grace collected coats, Team Dao collected books, Team Dana collected toys, and Team Ayonnah collected socks. These drives aimed to help give both resources to families in need and spread joy to children who are unable to receive gifts this holiday season.  

      Elobaid elaborated, “We chose four items – socks, books, toys, and coats – to have each group host drives for, then laid out instructions and a timeline to give to the NHS members during our November meeting.” 

      The NHS members had a choice to run the drives individually or with a small group. They were in charge of designing flyers to put around their neighborhoods and on social media platforms so people could know about the drives. Once they collected the donations, they either dropped it off at their team leader’s house or they took it to the WGB organization themselves. 

      Tinsley expressed,“I hope that Women Giving Back was able to collect even more resources than they usually do to help the community.” 

      With all the planning and organizing from the leaders, the drives were a success: the drives yielded way more donations than expected, and it all happened safely. Over 200 toys, 500 coats, 1,000 books, and 1,300 were collected, with NHS members hosting approximately 68 different drives in total.

      “We were able to use our numbers to really alleviate the lives of local families, whether that is through providing clothing (Grace’s Team) or holiday joy (Dana’s Team).” Dao Tran, 12, concluded. 

      The drives that NHS ran will help many women and children in the community during the holiday season, as well as help influence others, not in the NHS group, to donate to help others in this difficult time. All the donations collected will spread holiday joy all around the community. Everyone’s effort to help the community by participating in these drives made a great impact and hopefully influences others to continue helping the community.