Keystone Oaks School District News Article

A special holiday tradition

Teddy Bear Holiday is a tradition that has happened at Keystone Oaks High School every year for about 20 plus years. Right around Christmas, staff members and students buy gifts and throw a party for underprivileged kids.
Nicole Varrenti, Nick Kamberis, and Joshua Kirchner are big contributors to the Teddy Bear Holiday every year. The party was on December 13th at the Salvation Army. Varrenti thinks it's a great event. 

“We partner with the Salvation Army; they provide a list of kids to us, they provide the space, and we do everything else. “

There are also lots of people around the high school and beyond who are willing to help out. The whole point is to help some children in need.
“A lot of clubs sponsor kids, they stay in a $50 range. The point of the Teddy Bear is that these gifts are for underprivileged children. Many of them may not have gifts on Christmas morning, so when we give them the gifts we don't want them to open them until them until Christmas morning.” 
“We have a lot of people who volunteer. TJ Maxx donated 50 of these really cools bags, and the district helps us drive everything over. Schneider Dairy always gives us drinks in the past, Molly’s pizza is giving us a discount.” 

Nicole Varrenti gets a list of kids and then puts out reminders for teachers. Through their clubs, the students then help. She also believes that student at Keystone Oaks help out in a big way and need no extra encouragement because they are naturally willing to help.
“I know Grace Taylor, Dani Perez, and Megan Harris, they’ve been working on making little crafts for the kids to work on during the party. I find that Keystone Oaks students are natural helpers. The other day I had stuff I had to bring in for this. I grabbed two kids out of the cafeteria and, without hesitation, they helped.”

Kirchner, a Keystone Oaks Math Teacher, has an important rule during the event.
“I try and organize all the food and drinks during the party. My math club donated the pizza this year with the help of Molly’s Pizza. The drinks were donated by Schneider Dairy.  

Kirchner may not have been helping out with the event for that long of a time, but he feels like it is really worth it. 
“This is my third year with the event. I feel like it is a very worthwhile experience giving back to some families who are little less fortunate especially during the holiday season.” 
The event would not be complete without a Santa. Nick Kamberis comes as Santa. He has strength club raise money to get gifts for the children.   
The event is a fantastic way to help the less fortunate during the holiday season.  

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