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 supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. For some families, however, this is not the case. Struggling to get by due bills, rent, the absence of a parent or spousal support, insufficient and infrequent pay, celebrating the holidays with presents would be miraculous indeed for these families.

Mike Burright encountered this situation, where a less fortunate family was 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 toys, clothes, and household items. Burright wrapped these items and delivered them in a Santa costume.

That was in 2002. Burright donated to more families every year until in 2010, Burright made the program a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. It 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. The school has participated for years, and normally, only about a handful of families are adopted. But this year, records are being set. “It’s going to be around 40,” said senior Ayden Fox, who is the primary distributor of families this year.

Fox notices a lot about the community. “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 true. There is a lot of need in the Beaverton High School community that goes unnoticed. Students, as caring individuals, don’t want to see people struggling. Unfortunately, many are blind to what challenges members of the community face.

Although students have been unaware of what goes on in people’s lives outside of school, programs like these that open eyes and give students an opportunity to help. It’s a beautiful thing when the community comes together to boost each other up. 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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