Connecting our community, one gift at a time

How a community can come together to help out those in need

by Cooper Graham

The holidays are usually supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. For some families, however, this tends to not be the case. Struggling to get by because of bills or rent, the absence of a parent coupled with no spousal support, insufficient and infrequent pay; celebrating the holidays with presents would be miraculous indeed.

Mike Burright encountered this exact situation of a less fortunate family being unable to have presents for Christmas. This made him uneasy. In response, he did what any caring community member would do, and gathered friends and family, who donated things such as toys, clothes, and household items, which he would then wrap and deliver in a Santa costume.

That was in 2002. This went on as they donated to more families every year, until, in 2010, they made their program a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The organization came to be known as Adopt A Family. Over the years, they have adopted over 2,500 families in total, giving much hope for a happy holiday.

Beaverton High School is no stranger to the program. We have participated in this for years, and normally, only about a handful of families are adopted. This year, however, records are being set: “It’s going to be around 40”, according to senior Ayden Fox, who is the primary distributor of families this year.

The inclination for Fox to step up this year is not unfounded, as she notices a lot about the community herself. “I felt inclined because there is a lot of need in our community that kinda goes unnoticed, and there isn’t a lot of attention brought to it, or support.”

Fox brought up a point that is hard to hear, but very true; there is a lot of need in our community that goes unnoticed. We, as caring individuals, don’t want to see people struggling and facing daily adversity. When that happens, we tend to do something. Unfortunately, so many are so blind to what people at Beaverton and in our community face.

Although we have been generally unaware about what goes on in people’s lives outside of school, it’s programs like these that not only open our eyes, but give us an opportunity to do actually something to help. It’s truly a beautiful thing when our community can come together to boost each other up. And here at Beaverton High School, community connects us.

This isn’t always the sort of Christmas that families get. (Photo courtesy of Depositphotos)

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