Competition increases participation in annual Christmas Mother drive

SCA collected donations for the Christmas Mother in the Commons hallway.

Photo courtesy of: Shannon Hays

SCA collected donations for the Christmas Mother in the Commons hallway.

Shannon Hays, Staff Writer

The Henrico Christmas Mother organization is celebrating 80 years of what many call ‘neighbors helping neighbors.’ Since its beginning in 1942, Henrico Christmas Mother has been committed to providing food, clothing, books, and toys to qualifying families, seniors, and disabled adults during the holiday season. Although the county has transformed greatly since the organization’s start, the tradition of Christmas Mother remains unchanged. Students and families in the county continue to donate canned goods to the cause every year, and schools continue to promote the importance of giving back during the season of giving.

   To CTE teacher and SCA sponsor Robin Schultz, the ability to give is a blessing.

   “It is a powerful gift to both the giver and the receiver,” Schultz said. 

   With the help of the entire community, the Henrico Christmas Mother has provided services and products to hundreds of families in the surrounding community, but they have also provided something priceless: newfound hope and opportunity. 

  With all the excitement for the holidays, it is easy to forget to give back to those less fortunate. This year, the SCA hoped to change that by bringing all grades and clubs together in a friendly competition for a good cause. Competition among grades and clubs have traditionally been an effective way to boost school spirit and increase student participation in fundraisers and drives to support those in need. While the competition rankings were updated every day throughout the drive to encourage more students to participate, Schultz believes the real reward is more than a title for the most charitable class or club.

   “The most rewarding thing about being part of the Christmas Mother Campaign is knowing how many people we can help ,” Schultz said. “The holiday season must be so hard for those who struggle to provide their families with the basic necessities. It is a time when those who are fortunate should remember to help those who have less.”

   The drive didn’t just benefit those receiving the cans, but the entire school community.

   “It affects students because it makes them think more in depth about what the holiday season really is; it’s not just about getting, but more about giving,” junior class president Kelly Michaud said. 

   This year the total collected from both grade level classes and clubs was 1,861 food items. Although the grade level competition fell short of the goal of 1,000 cans, with a final total of 684 cans. To make up the difference, the SCA wrote a check for $316 to cover the 316-item shortage. Despite not meeting the goal, the impact was still huge and the SCA felt the students became quickly invested.

   “We went from a total of 79 items before [a spirit day incentive was offered] to our final total of 684 less than three days later,” Shultz said.

   Because of the progress made in those three days, the SCA decided to award the incentive to students despite the shortfall, organizing an “Anything But a Backpack Day” on the Monday before winter break. 

   The SCA is continuing to work with the student body and administration to provide more fun activities for our Deep Run community this year. 

   “Good things come to those who do good. We all need to reflect upon the fact that giving from a grateful heart is perhaps one of the greatest rewards a person can receive,” Schultz said.