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NJHS students volunteer to help needy families for the holidays

In+the+Christmas+Village%2C+kids+participate+in+engaging+activities+such+as+balloon+animals+and+petting+ponies+under+the+tents+with+their+%E2%80%9Cbuddies.%E2%80%9D+The+annual+event+took+place+on+Dec.+16%2C+2017.
In the Christmas Village, kids participate in engaging activities such as balloon animals and petting ponies under the tents with their “buddies.” The annual event took place on Dec. 16, 2017.

In the Christmas Village, kids participate in engaging activities such as balloon animals and petting ponies under the tents with their “buddies.” The annual event took place on Dec. 16, 2017.

Miles Wang

Miles Wang

In the Christmas Village, kids participate in engaging activities such as balloon animals and petting ponies under the tents with their “buddies.” The annual event took place on Dec. 16, 2017.

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Urban Youth Impact’s (UYI) annual Christmas Store event gave needy families the opportunity to give each other gifts during the holidays.

“I volunteered at the Urban Youth Impact [Christmas Store] because it was an amazing experience to help others that are not as fortunate to have the best holiday season they can have,” Olivia Arnold, eighth grade communications major, said.

Urban Youth Impact is an organization that offers programs to youth in order to guide them to a better future. National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) members were given the chance to participate in their Christmas Store annual event.

“Urban Youth Impact supports families year round, but this specific event gives families the opportunity to provide Christmas presents for their children that they might otherwise be unable to afford,” Bonnie McCarthy, head of NJHS, said.

The event happened on Dec. 16 for the sixteenth time at their Dream Center in West Palm Beach. In this event, it allowed needy families to shop for free gifts and toys while their children were engaged with activities in the “Christmas Village.”

Emma Kaminski, eighth grade visual arts major, said, “It showed me that there are things bigger than myself that I can contribute to.”

The NJHS members volunteered as “buddies” for the younger children in the Christmas Village. Sheevam Patel, eighth grade communications major, said that not only was he given the ability to take care of the children there, but he had the chance “to have fun with the kids there as well.”

“What we did at Urban Youth Impact was that when we volunteered we were paired up with kids or our ‘buddies’ and we took them around the large kid zone when their parent dropped them off. We played sports, made arts and crafts, decorated cookies and more,” Patel said.

Volunteering students felt that it was a great way to help unfortunate families. Amanda Sui, eighth grade piano major, said that she wanted less fortunate children to “have the same opportunities that I have” during the holidays.

“I participated in this event because Christmas is one of the busiest times of year so I know it is important to give back to people who are less fortunate,” Kamryn Bailey, eighth grade communications major, said.

Although the event’s purpose was to impact the families on the receiving end, it also impacted thevc volunteers.

“The Urban Youth Impact Christmas store made an impact on me because it showed me that I always have to be grateful for what I have,” Bailey said. “Also, it taught me to remember when I am going through tough times that there are people there to help like how Urban Youth Impact was there for all 640 families who needed help this Christmas.”

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NJHS students volunteer to help needy families for the holidays