Students play Santa
by Deborah Stone
Each year, the students at Northshore Junior High School demonstrate the gift of giving to others through their annual toy drive. This year marks the 12th annual drive, and it has been an overwhelming success.
Students have donated more than 1,000 new toys in 11 days. The toys will be given to the Northshore Multi-Service Center in Bothell, which will distribute them to needy families. The school also adopted a family of 11 for the holiday season, providing food and age-appropriate gifts for each member.
Each year, the students show their full support and participation in community service projects such as the toy and food drives.
"They are very responsive to community needs and are a very caring group," said Bob Cone, Learning Center teacher and coordinator of the toy drive. "They represent the best of the next generation."
With the help of their teachers, the students always talk up the drive and pass the word around to all the classes. In addition, they help sort and count the toys and prepare them for delivery to the Multi-Service Center.
One eighth grader, Tyler Byers, raised $200 from friends and family and then bought toys with the money. Another student, Nic Letexier, said, "It's great that kids at school get to help kids less fortunate than themselves. It feels good to do that."
A wide variety of toys were represented, but eighth grader Alisa Harney feels that stuffed animals will be a big hit with many of the children because "they're cuddly and soft and all ages enjoy them. I still have mine," she added.
Student Gary Stute summed it up: "The drive has really been a great success this year." Next year, the students themselves hope to coordinate the project all on their own.