Advisories purchase gifts for annual Support-a-Family service event

Students wrap gifts at the wrapping party in the lunch  room on Dec. 7. The event was hosted by Community Action and Service as part of the annual Support-a-Family participation.

Nitya Thakkar

Students wrap gifts at the wrapping party in the lunch room on Dec. 7. The event was hosted by Community Action and Service as part of the annual Support-a-Family participation.

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The rustling sound of wrapping paper and holiday music stream from the cafeteria as advisories wrap gifts for families in need. A variety of necessities, such as winter clothing, as well as toys, overflow from numerous boxes and bags.

Support-a-Family is run by Project for Pride in Living, along with Allina Health. PPL is a non-profit organization based in the Twin Cities that assists low-income families in gaining access to affordable housing and education. According to their website, PPL has helped more than 15,000 low-income families with the assistance of over 13,000 volunteers.

I think it was really rewarding and meaningful to know that we can use [our privilege] to help a family in need.”

— sophomore Ethan Dincer

PPL provides SPA, specifically Community Action and Service, a student group ,with a list of families, the ages and clothing sizes of all the members in a family, and things they need and want. The gifts for a particular family divided up among advisories, and advisories create a list of gifts to buy, along with a plan on how to buy them.This year, 32 advisories are participating in Support-a-Family.

“I think it was really rewarding and meaningful to know that, while we are privileged, we can use that to help a family in need,” sophomore Ethan Dincer said.

9th grader Clark Waltz echoed Dancer’s statement, saying that, “I because we do recognize that we are a very privileged and fortunate community, and so it’s good to give back as we have the power to do so.”

Dincer also said that his advisory came up with a list of things they wanted to get, in addition to the ones requested by the family, and different people went to go buy whatever they could: “My advisory last year [Hovan advisory] was really involved with this, and we tried to get everything that was on the list of things they wanted, along with a few extra surprises,” Dincer said.

Waltz advisory this year, the C.J. Anderson advisory, took a different approach: “We [shopped] online, because it is just easier than trying to find a time outside of school for all of us to get together.”

Senior Tabeer Naqvi believes that the importance of Support-a-Family is to take a look at the bigger picture, too see what you can do to improve the community around you.

“I feel like helping others is a notion often associated with the holidays. To help those in need, be more considerate of others, and think about other people and ways you can help them are things that most people try to practice all year, but specifically around this time of the year,” Naqvi said.

As for her favorite part of this service organization, it is buying the gifts that she knows will put a smile on the receiver’s face.

“This year, my advisory [Campbell advisory] met for brunch at Perkins and then went to Target and bought a bunch of gifts. We got all the things they needed plus the majority of the things they wanted,” Naqvi said.

“[Support-a-Family] allows students a chance to come together as a community and give back to those who are not as privileged as us, while also having fun,” Naqvi said.

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