STANFORD, Ill. (WMBD) — It’s the season of giving, and teens at a high school in Stanford in McLean County are giving back to their community.
An Olympia High School senior and his classmates are reminding people it’s better to give than receive this holiday season.
Andrew Fishman and other students at Olympia High are spending their last days of the semester helping others.
“We’re just collecting items to make goodie bags for the homeless, just to warm up their heart a little bit this holiday season,” Fishman said.
Fishman, a senior at Olympia said it’s an idea that came about in October and was immediately put into action in time for the holiday season. He said after calling several charities, they decided on donating to the Salvation Army of McLean County.
“I really just wanted to step outside my comfort zone and do something new. I haven’t really heard of it being done at school or anything like that in this area,” Fishman said.
Donations piled in from Olympia students, parents, and others from outside the school.
“The fact that other schools and other communities were willing to give money and give items to donate towards this was heartwarming,” said Fishman’s friend, Ashton Campbell.
For months, the two boys have been collecting clothes, food, toiletries, and other items. Their teacher, Britta Langley, said they did it all with little help from the adults.
“They did it all by themselves. They were fully aware of what’s going on right now, and they made a point to help somebody else out during the holiday season,” Langley said.
Langley said it warms her heart to see students do good things for the community. She let the boys use her classroom as the centralized drop-off zone for collected items.
“One day last week they brought in a cart that had like 12 boxes of stuff, and they were smiling from ear to ear. I was so so happy and proud of them,” Langley said.
The boys plan on handing out their collected items Friday, Christmas Eve, in hopes of giving the salvation army patrons an early Christmas present.