NewsDepth A+: Christmas for Others

The pandemic has put a hold on so many plans and traditions for so many schools. The Key Club, at Padua Franciscan High School in Parma, was determined to keep their nearly 50 year old tradition of giving to those in need going strong this past holiday season.  

“We live by the adage that it is in giving that we receive” shared Principal Dave Stec. The Key Club, which is a student organization with a focus on service and leadership, lives that challenge. Christmas for Others is a long standing tradition at Padua. It started in 1971. The fundraiser collected financial donations and donations of household goods which helped a variety of nonprofit organizations, inner-city schools, and local food pantries. 

Junior Anthony Kucera explained that “CFO allows us to give to those who aren't as lucky. It's important that as a Franciscan school, we give back to those who need it just as St. Francis once did. The school was able to help so many individuals and families even while navigating the pandemic and I'm very grateful for the opportunity to give." 

Because of the pandemic, this year’s event looked a bit different. “We couldn’t get together and have our traditional coin wars in the gym and we couldn’t handle cash donations like we have in the past” explained Mr. Stec.

Alumni, community members, and students all donated household items and money in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Canned goods, toys, and clothing was donated at several drop-off events. Because of safety measures, all donated items were left in the bins for three days. “Covid presented us with some challenges. We had to take a number of steps to keep our students and community safe this year” explained Mr. Stec. Challenges aside, the Key Club helped to raise an impressive $15,578 dollars!

“We try to be generous with our treasures, time, and talents. Christmas for Others is an event that really brings our community together. It is a special experience to participate in this both as a student and now as the principal,” added Mr. Stec, a 1986 graduate of the school. 

Senior Oliva Stefka added that “Christmas for Others is significant because it puts aside everybody’s similarities and differences and solely focuses on the community's closeness to help those in our everyday lives.”

This weeks’ NewsDepth A+ Award goes to the Padua Franciscan Key Club, for helping those in need have a great holiday season. Keep up the great work!

Submit your ideas for our NewsDepth A+ segment to newsdepth@ideastream.org for consideration.

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