In the Spirit of Giving

December marked the season of generosity, and here at Kimmons, Raiders know how to give to others, whether that be time, money, homemade gifts, or kind words. Throughout the month, students and teachers alike helped ensure that local students in need had clothing and Christmas presents; moreover, they also showed kindness toward those suffering from Cancer.

Amidst the cold weather of winter, people pulled out their warmest garments from their closets. Although they were warm in their comfy clothes, other residents of Fort Smith were not as lucky. They braced against the harsh cold winds through their thin clothes and did the best with the little that they had. These families also lacked the luxury of presents under the tree at Christmas.

Thankfully, Kimmons students and teachers united to give these families the best winter holidays they could have. Teachers helped by donating $840 through the Jingle Jeans program, which gave educators unlimited days they could wear jeans to school throughout December.

National Junior Honor Society collected over $700 for the Community Care Project, an organization that selects children in need and provides presents for Christmas.

“I learned that we have many students who are selfless and giving,” America Cruz, 9th, said.

In December, NJHS members hit the stores at the Central Mall to shop for items for eleven children, ages 12-17.

“It is always a happy time to see the students shop for others,” Mrs. Putnam, NJHS sponsor, said. “They get so excited to pick out clothes and accessories with the money that they have collected. Our students are fabulous shoppers.”

Four of the “adopted” kids attend Kimmons, something that brought extra excitement to NJHS members.

“The parents were all very appreciative and a few even cried when I told them that we wanted to help provide Christmas gifts for their children,” Mrs. Ray, counselor, said.

During this project, NJHS students gained a valuable lesson.

“I learned to be grateful for what I have and give to those in need,” Darren Keuthirath, 9th, said.

Student Council also gave back to the community by organizing a Jeans Drive. They collected 441 pairs of jeans which were donated to the Children’s Services League in Fort Smith.

“Children received some warm clothing in addition to the normal food and household supplies that are furnished,” Mrs. English, student council sponsor, said. “Our students gained an appreciation of just how much we can accomplish together if we all give just a little.”

As an added incentive, Student Council provided a breakfast doughnut party to the 1st-period class who collected the most jeans. Mrs. Holland’s class, which donated 103 pairs, won the sugary treat.

“I learned that students AND teachers can be very competitive when the prize is food,” Berenice Garcia, 9th, said.

During winter, some families were unable to celebrate Christmas together due to the tragic words many parents fear, “Your child has been diagnosed with Cancer.” To help ease the pain, Ms. Ferguson’s 8th grade language arts classes created seven blankets, sending six to the Arkansas Children’s Hospital and one to a student at Chaffin Junior High. The 8th graders also chose to write letters to Mrs. Medlin’s husband and to Coach East who are both battling Cancer.

“My favorite part of the community service project was that I got to help kids who are sick and may not get a very good Christmas,” Mack Goodno, 8th, said. “I did that because it makes me feel very happy with myself. I will remember this project because that might be my kid alone in a hospital someday.”

Ms. Ferguson realized the value of the service project.

“I think my students learned that no matter how young you are and no matter where you come from, you can always lend a helping hand to those in need.” Ms. Ferguson said. “They also learned to be appreciative of the small things in life that we often take for granted.”