NHS members spread Christmas cheer across Austin

Alexis Huynh

Each year, the students of the National Honor Society participate in two annual community service projects. This fall semester, NHS is partnering with Foundation Communities — an organization that provides homes and onsite support for thousands of families in Texas — to provide 17 families with items off of their Christmas wish list. Students began fundraising campaigns in early November.

“Some families ask for things like toys, dolls and video games for kids, or basic house items like laundry detergent or toilet paper or even things like socks and jackets,” NHS ambassador senior Jaime Nguyen said. “Students can raise money as a group or even just ask people in their family or neighborhood to donate. My group’s wish list is pretty simple, so I would say people are spending an average of $10 to $20.”

Students are grouped together and assigned to an ambassador by last name. Each ambassador and his/her group are then assigned to a family and are responsible for the family’s wish list. Within that group, students split up or are assigned specific items off the wish list to fundraise and purchase.

“My group is sponsoring a family of four,” NHS member senior Cynthia Co said. “My family’s wish list has fewer items, but are more expensive. Each person in the group is going out and buying designated items that they assign themselves. For gifts that are more expensive, a group of students fundraise for that item.”

All donations are due Dec. 9. At that time the ambassadors will collect all donations and items and bring them to the central Foundation Communities’ building on Thursday and Saturday where they will be held until distributed to the five different Foundation Communities locations throughout Austin. NHS members will not be meeting the families.

“The overall goal is to help less fortunate families celebrate the holidays in any way that we can and to remind ourselves of how fortunate we are,” Jaime said.