Santa swags early; on that Christmas hype

By Anna Griffin and Jacalyn Murphy

In the wee hours of an almost Christmas morn, when their classmates were asnooze in their warm beds, while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads, fourteen dreary-eyed and hardly coherent teenagers stumbled out of the frigid winter air and into Rohnert Park’s dimly-lit, Christmas-themed Starbucks. Readying themselves for the hectic shopping to come, they rejuvenated with coffee while awaiting their 6 am departure.

In the spirit of St. Vincent tradition, junior and senior leadership class members gathered for their annual Christmas service excursion. The purpose of this outing was to buy presents for children of COTS families who needed help during this costly holiday season. To comply with the students’ services, Target opened two and a half hours early to allow them to shop undisturbed. The leadership students teamed up and took the store by storm, scurrying about to meet all of the expectations on the lists in a limited amount of time.

“It warms my heart to see SV kids reaching out to the community in that they were able to help children who would not usually have Christmas presents or experience the warmth and love that we all get to. This community came together to raise a great sum of money to make that happen which is something that during this time of year proves that Jesus is alive in each and every one of us,” Mrs. Rodnick expressed.

While stocking shelves, Target employees assisted the students in accordance to the particulars of the shopping list. “The school does this every year for homeless kids. It’s pretty neat,” said one employee to another, in passing.

This good deed was not at all lost in the students. They truly valued what they were doing as service and scrounged the store to find the exact presents that the deserving children hoped to unwrap Christmas morning.

“I felt like I got to know the kids personally by what we got them. Like this one little boy Gabriel; I would picture what he looked like as Jacalyn and I carefully picked out his outfits. For example the blue and green footie pajamas, 2T flannel and jeans, and itty-bitty socks,” Megan Tarrant, junior, expressed.

Students enthusiastically stacked shopping carts to the brim with presents for the worthy children. Many difficult last minute decisions had to be made as the shopping began to wrap up. The money raised by multiple COTS fundraisers was generous enough to fund thirty children who each got what was on their list, plus a few more surprise items added by the students.

“I really could have stayed and shopped to find the perfect presents all day if I was able to. It was such a great experience and I can’t wait to do it again next year!” junior Ursyla Baumgarten exclaimed.

*This story was originally published in The Onlooker, SVHS’s student newspaper

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