Eighty years ago, Bingham High students organized a Christmas dance to raise money during the Great Depression to help their peers who would not be able to have a Christmas.
Although the name changed last year from Sub for Santa, the mission remains the same — to give to not only students at Bingham who might need assistance for the holidays, but also provide for programs including the Make-A Wish Foundation, Starlight Foundation, Christmas Box House and the Jordan Education Foundation.
“We changed the name so it was more about the spirit of Bingham students, and we’ve expanded so we can help more organizations reach more families and children,” student government adviser Liz Smith said. “Last year, we raised more than $87,000 to help these foundations, and this year our goal is to raise $100,000.”
Throughout the month of December, student leaders planned numerous activities in which students could participate with a donation to TrueBlue. The events kicked off with human bowling, ping pong, holiday movies and other activities during Reindeer Games on Dec. 3.
Other activities such as an improv show, a dodge ball tournament, a Zumbathon and a potato derby, (similar to a pinewood derby only the race cars are made out of potatoes) joined the annual holiday dance as fundraisers.
Junior Hannah Lake was looking forward to attending some of the activities she helped plan as one of 40 students on the planning committee. Her sister, Hailey, joined her at the Reindeer Games.
These included purchasing a ceramics class-made bowl filled with soup ProStart students made or buying crepes French students served.
As part of the fundraising, students earmarked $10,000 for 1,600 students within the Jordan School District who are considered “homeless,” Smith said.
“Once students learned how many students are in need within their own district, they jumped on board to raise funds for them. The Jordan Education Foundation will decide how the funds will be used, whether it’s for food, heat, clothing or whatever is needed,” Smith said.
Several area businesses also contributed a portion of the proceeds from a particular day or certain sales all month to TrueBlue.
“TrueBlue is not just about raising money, but also about giving service to those in the community. This year, we have planned a variety of activities to not only provide service, but to help bring the holiday spirit to the Bingham community,” Smith said at the kick off.
For senior Chase Sorenson, taking Starlight Foundation foster children to see the lights at Temple Square is his favorite TrueBlue activity.
“It’s really something special when we’re able to help out these foster kids and they get to spend time with us high school students,” he said. “They appreciate everything that we take for granted so we’re blessed at seeing them grateful, and it’s so rewarding.”
About 120 Bingham High students participate in the annual event, Smith said, adding that it usually is the first activity to fill. TrueBlue provides some of its contributions to ensure these foster children receive items they want and need for the winter season.
Students also spend an evening where they gather to make holiday cards to take to residents at Legacy Assisted Care Center. This year, they also planned to tie 100 fleece blankets and decorated Christmas trees to give to local hospitals.