West Branch Students Contribute to YMCA Christmas Program

Students at West Branch donate to kids in need during the holiday season.


Image/Graphics by Mallory Graham

Mrs. Peterson’s Sociology class prior to wrapping their donation presents.

With the holiday season in full gear, it is a time of gift-giving and receiving. Unfortunately, all over the world, some children are in need, especially during this holiday season. With Christmas approaching, not only are kids wishing for presents such as toys for Christmas, but several are also in need of necessities. With the cold weather approaching, many may need clothes, like coats and hats.

Some teachers and students of West Branch have taken this problem into their own hands this holiday season to help those in their community who are in need. Mrs. Peterson and Mrs. Levonick hold a program in their classes that allow themselves and their students to help other students in the community during the holiday season. Mrs. Peterson says, “My family has been participating in the Moshannon Valley YMCA Christmas Program for years. But last year, inspired by Mrs. Levonick, I asked my sociology class students to get involved. It was such a success that we decided to do it again this year.”

This program begins with the parents of the child in need signing up for the program and creating a list of items the child needs. The child is kept anonymous to contributors. These items can be anything from toys to basic needs, such as a winter coat. The lists are then compiled and made available to those participating in the program. Once Mrs. Peterson and Mrs. Levonick have access to the lists, they allow their students to select, as a class, which student they would like to support. Once the class chooses a child, the students sign up for the items they will purchase. After the gifts are acquired, the students bring them to class. Once all the presents for the child are within the school, students take time to wrap the gifts. Mrs. Levonick and Mrs. Peterson donate the presents after they are complete.

This outstanding program is helping students in the community during a time of the year that can be difficult for many families. Mrs. Peterson, a participant in the program, says, “What I love most about this program is that it allows kids in our community to wake up Christmas morning with gifts to open. But it also teaches my students the importance of involvement and awareness of their community.” The West Branch community, specifically the Warrior Watch Staff, wants to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!