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Hats, Shoes, Teddy Bears Warm Hearts This Holiday Season

Dec 19, 2014 03:40PM ● Published by Julie Slama

Piles of hats, shoes, socks, stuffed animals and more are being shared with those less fortunate this holiday season, thanks to local school children.

At Jordan Ridge Elementary, more than 200 new pairs of shoes and 400 pairs of socks were donated by early December, with more expected before the shoe drive was scheduled to end on Dec. 19, Principal Catherine Anderson said.
South Jordan Middle School students put up posters encouraging students to participate in their Sub 4 Santa Games which contribute donations to families in need. Photo courtesy of Brett Freeman

 “We have very giving students and parents who are looking out for others and are being good neighbors and citizens,” Anderson said. “We try to teach students to always pay attention to others who are in need and to lend them a helping hand.”

These shoes are being donated to Jordan Credit Union’s Warm Your Soles program and to The Road Home. Last spring, the school donated 3,000 pairs of shoes to those in need in Africa, and last holiday season they held a coat and mitten drive for families in the community.

At American Heritage of South Jordan, seventh-graders were knitting stocking hats on looms and other students were donating new and gently used clothing and warm outerwear for The Road Home, art and Spanish teacher Jeanette Herrera said. Donations are being accepted by the school’s west doors through Dec. 23.

“We take everything for granted, but we’re encouraging students to realize others are less fortunate,” Herrera said. “When they deliver these items and see the people they are helping, they see the actual person, and it gives them a different perspective that they really are giving people a step up.”

The school also is holding its 10th annual teddy bear drive where students bring in new stuffed animals that will be given to local fire firefighters who distribute them to kids who have gone through traumatic incidents. Before each bear is donated, students line the halls and the bear is passed and hugged by each student, curriculum director Scotti Hansen said.

At Elk Ridge Middle School, students are helping children through its sixth annual Angel Tree program. Student body officers will purchase items selected by the children and wrap them for the selected families, theater teacher Kristie Post Wallace said.

South Jordan Middle School musical groups shared their music with Beehive Homes residents, and the Parent-Teacher-Student Association gave them small care packages, with toiletry items and travel-sized games or playing cards. The students also gave cards that several classes made for the residents.

South Jordan Middle School National Junior Honor Society is in its eighth year of Sub 4 Santa, collecting donations which will be given to the Giving Grinch to help families in need. This year, students have developed “Sub 4 Santa Games” movie trailers, similar to the Hunger Games, to encourage more students to participate. At the end of the fundraising, the winning grade will compete against the faculty in various athletic and eating events.

“Students are encouraged to donate their money earned from babysitting or other jobs to help others less fortunate,” social studies teacher and NJHS adviser Brett Freeman said. “Here at SJMS we stress the importance of working as a team to accomplish great things, and the Sub 4 Santa Games helps us achieve this goal. It’s exciting and heartwarming to watch students donate hard-earned money to a great cause.”       
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