Smyrna High School students and staff are showing an outpouring of support for community members in need. The Student Government Association, National Honor Society and staff have raised an uncountable number of gifts and monetary donations for numerous charitable organizations. They also boosted school spirit with a visit from Santa Claus sponsored by the SGA, held a Door Decorating Contest and encouraged teachers to wear their ugliest Christmas sweater on Friday.
The National Honor Society is providing support for the children who are spending the holiday as patients in the Ronald McDonald House by collecting items such as small toys, activities and gifts over the past two weeks, said NHS Advisor Mary Simons.
"Considering the fact that we have only been collecting items for two weeks, I feel that the drive has been a success" said Simons.
The NHS hopes to continue this drive throughout the year because the Child Life Program is always in need of donations, and because it means a lot to help dozens of families in need, even one of Smyrna High School's own.
"This is a great way for us to help the Atkinson family," Simons said.
SHS student Colby Atkinson, son of teacher Virginia Atkinson, was recently diagnosed with leukemia.
NHS officers Kayla Kennedy and Lauren Bowser are grateful for the opportunity to help the community.
"NHS is embracing the true purpose of the organization through this project; we saw our community in need so we decided to help," said Kennedy, NHS Parliamentarian and a senior. NHS president Lauren Bowser likes that there are so many different organizations they can help. "I think I like the opportunity to help so many organizations because I am not limited to bringing in one thing. I can add thought and personalize giving to make it special," said Bowser.
Staff also helped provide four families in the community with gifts on their "Christmas Wish List." Mrs. Tiffany Duke, English Language Arts Department Chair, said that ELA Department worked as a group to spread happiness and cheer with the "Adopt-a-Family" program to purchase gifts for families in need this Christmas.
"Each member bought specific gifts the children requested," Dukes said. "It was a very rewarding and humbling experience for all who participated."
Principal Stacy Cook was overwhelmed by the staff's generosity. They provided gifts for fifteen children from the ages of 20 months to 18 years old. Every child received at least one major gift on their "wish list" including three new bikes. Cook said the conference table was covered in gifts.
"When I looked at it, it made me cry," said Cook. "Our teachers help our students in so many ways. This is just one more example of the compassion they have for our students."