116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CLARENCE - As Christmas approaches, North Cedar's National Honor Society members work as Santa's undercover elves with their annual Winter Wishes project.
The idea of Winter Wishes is to spread the holiday spirit by giving. Any person within the school district can make a wish for anyone in the school or community and NHS tries to grant as many wishes as possible.
Most commonly, Winter Wishes are for students who need warm clothes, hats, mittens, coats and snow pants for the winter months. Others are fun, thoughtful gifts to brighten someone's day.
'It has really expanded and grown within the past five years,” said Kris Brown, NHS sponsor. 'That is due to the dedication of the NHS members and their desire to fill a lot of wishes.”
Winter Wishes began in 2006 with the hope of helping supply winter clothing for those who needed coats or hats but couldn't afford them. Since, the program has grown to whole new levels. Each year there are more requests than the year before,
This year, NHS budgeted more than $1,700 for winter wishes, the most the group has ever spent. Money is raised by NHS members by cleaning up the football field after games and 'jeans day” for teachers. Zion United Church donated more than $300 to the winter wish budget, making it possible to purchase even more gifts. There also is a donation box in the main office for anyone to donate their hats and gloves to the program.
With a record number of wishes, members of NHS have been shopping and wrapping for weeks to get the gifts ready to give before winter break.
Winter Wishes is a favorite of most NHS students.
'It is my favorite because we are able to give to those who may not always have the Christmas of their dreams and when NHS gives even a small gift, it makes their holidays so much better,” said senior Emily Hay, who was involved in winter wishes last year.
NHS does its best to make the holiday season the best it can for the North Cedar community and all NHS members hope the future classes will continue to grow the program.