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Students, staff spread cheer by ‘adopting’ Kettering kids

By Brian Cassidy, Staff Writer

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‘Tis the season for giving, and Kettering Fairmont High School and the Kettering community are continuing a long-held charitable tradition. More than a decade ago, the City of Kettering Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department founded the Giving Tree, a charitable holiday program. Every year since then, this organization helps provide gifts of toys and clothing for children from birth to 18 years of age in the Kettering community. 

How does it work?

Recipients of the program are chosen by counselors from Kettering schools and officials from other main sponsors, such as businesses or churches. Sponsors then submit the number of children they have committed to sponsor to city coordinator Stacy Schweikhart. Large sponsors of the program, in addition toFairmont, include Town & Country Shopping Center and Christ United Methodist Church.

At Town & Country, shoppers are free to take a tag from the Christmas tree in the main lobby and fulfill the needs printed on it. Tags contain information about the gender, age and needs for that specific child; common gift ideas include winter hats, gloves, scarves, jackets or toys for the child. Gifts should then be returned to the business offices located on the second floor of Town & Country.

Fairmont’s participation

This season, Fairmont High School is sponsoring 100 children from the Kettering community.

“Fairmont is the largest supporter of the program, taking hundreds of tags each year,” said Schweikhart. Fairmont is, however, sponsoring fewer children this year than in previous years.

Fairmont allies with other major supporters like the City of Kettering, Day Air Credit Union, and McGohan Brabender, in addition to Town & Country and Christ UMC. Fairmont’s staff and students contribute with their time and gifts to make this program happen at Fairmont each year. Advisories and clubs are an excellent way to encourage schoolwide participation. Advisory teacher Kelly Mora is famous for her donations each year.

“I always try to donate gifts to the program each year, either by myself or with my advisory students. Being able to provide somebody in my community with a Christmas is what the holidays are really about, and this is a simple way to give back,” said Mora.

Mora says she is always on the lookout for sales throughout the year. “I have found children’s jeans for $2.50 and jackets for $5 at stores like Target or Meijier during the spring or summer,” she said.

Students can help get their advisories involved by going down to the Activities Office and claiming a tag or two to “adopt” that child for this holiday season. Tags became available Friday, Nov 11, and gifts should be returned to the Activities Office by Dec. 5.

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