Bethel-Tate High School students are celebrating the holiday season by collecting toys for needy families.
The toy drive is a community service project conceived and executed by the Bethel-Tate High School student government; they have already collected more than 1,000 toys.
“The toy drive idea came out of our monthly student government meetings,” said president Erin Ballein. “We all decided that we wanted to do something for the Christmas holiday that would benefit others, especially children.”
The Bethel-Tate student government, under the leadership of Ballein, led a very successful canned food drive for the Thanksgiving holiday last month. That success inspired them to try and accomplish even more this Christmas.
The homeroom that donates the most toys will be rewarded with a pizza party. In the project's first week, one homeroom has already donated more than 200 toys, Ballein said.
"I am very proud of my high school and the student body," said Ballein while picking up toys outside homerooms the morning of Dec. 8. "We have collected some really nice toys that will undoubtedly be needed and welcomed by the recipients. It is fun and it feels great knowing that children will benefit and have hours of happiness as a result of what we are trying to accomplish."
Erin Ballein collects the toys outside the school's homerooms each morning with fellow student government classmates Monica Weber, and Tressa Evans.
Bethel-Tate student government advisor Cindy Shepherd feels that the toy drive will not only help needy children and their families, but will help nurture a spirit of giving in the students as well.
"The students have worked very hard to make this community service project a success," she said. "It will hopefully get them into a mode of having empathy and concern for others. I hope that in the future this spirit of generosity and giving that the students of Bethel-Tate have shown becomes second nature to them."
The toys will be picked up by the local Bethel American Legion organizations on Dec. 15 for distribution.