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Murray Students Give To Help Others

Dec 05, 2014 12:33PM ● Published by Julie Slama

This year, Murray High students are putting words into action.

 This year, Murray High students are putting words into action.

As part of a school wide drive, students are writing to Santa and mailing their letters at Macy’s department stores. In trade for each letter received, Macy’s will donate $1 to Utah’s Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“This is a great opportunity for students to help make a huge donation to a very worthwhile charity, all without pinching our students’ own limited wallets,” English teacher and Peer Leadership Team adviser Christy Waite said. “The students can donate their time, which in turn translates to dollars for a great cause.”

The school’s student government and Peer Leadership Team decided on the service project after being motivated by sophomore and Peer Leadership Team member Gwen Brockbank who was a Make-A-Wish recipient of a Disney World trip last year and a spokesperson for the Utah Make-A-Wish chapter this year.

Recently Gwen received a bone marrow transplant for aplastic anemia, a condition in which the bone marrow does not make enough new blood cells.

The students set incentives to help them reach more than the 11,000 letters that Jordan High School in Sandy wrote last year. Once they reach 5,000 letters, everyone will be served hot chocolate during the winter assembly. At 10,000 letters, two teachers have volunteered to become human sundaes during the assembly. At 12,000 letters, Principal John Goldhardt will shave his head, and at 15,000, lunch will be extended to one hour.

However, students haven’t just stopped with those goals. They’ve challenged anyone or any school in Utah to each beat the 11,000 mark and made their goal of 15,000 letters to be delivered to the Macy’s mailbox by Dec. 18.

Goldhardt said although it would be a cold winter with a shaved head, he hoped students would reach their goal.

“I’ve done it before, but I’m ready to do it again to help someone,” he said. “The students already are writing letters. One class wrote 800 of them already.”

It was during a 30-minute challenge that students were allowed to write letters in class and more than 8,700 were written Nov. 19 to help Make-A-Wish kids.

Helping kids and families also is the goal of Grant Elementary and Hillcrest Junior High this holiday season. At Hillcrest, students will help provide Christmas to other students through its annual Sub-for-Santa drive Dec. 1 through Dec. 17, Principal Jennifer Covington said.

Grant will put up its annual Angel Tree, designed to help a couple of Grant community families. On each ornament will be items that families need, such as clothing and food items, along with a couple of wishes, such as books and toys, counselor Anne Smith said.

“We’ve been doing it for about 15 years,” she said. “We have a great community who want to give and help others and we’re so grateful.”      
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