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Huntley High School students wrap thousands of gifts for their adopted families

HUNTLEY – Sarah Glass spent her Monday afternoon wrapping Christmas presents, including boxes full of diapers and a giant dollhouse.

However, those gifts weren’t for the Huntley High School junior’s close friends or family. They were for her adopted families.

“Everyone here is really privileged to get to celebrate Christmas like this,” Glass said.

Glass was one of more than 100 Huntley High School students who stayed after school Monday to help wrap gifts for families in need. Led by the school’s National Honor Society, the gift-wrapping event took place in the high school’s cafeteria.

“The students here adopted families who wouldn’t have been able to afford these Christmas gifts otherwise and helped wrap the gifts they bought for them,” Glass said.

The gifts will benefit families who live at the Community Alternatives shelter in Chicago, which helps low-income families who need a place to stay. Along with toys for the children, students wrapped necessary items for parents, such as baby strollers and carriers.

“Helping families who aren’t as lucky is a very cool thing to get to do during the holidays,” Glass said.

In its third year, Huntley senior Alyssa DeBock, who also helped wrap gifts Monday, said she’s seen more students wanting to become involved with the event every year.

“We don’t necessary think about how others don’t have these same kind of things and opportunities,” DeBock said. “So doing this is very eye-opening and allows us to be generous to people who we may not have considered before.”

Science teacher Melanie Lyons, who sponsors the National Honors Society, said the school adopted 36 families in its first year running the event. This year, the students adopted 64 families – or 237 people.

“I think it’s real important that students understand there are people who aren’t as fortunate as we are and realize that they can be helpful and make a difference,” Lyons said.

Since each family is expected to receive five to 10 gifts, students wrapped more than 2,000 gifts throughout the evening.

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