Students show their generosity and holiday spirit through the Adopt-a-Family and Adopt-a-Student programs.


Hannah Copeland

The leadership class loads up the Adopt-a-Family gifts into a truck to deliver to the Salvation Army. in 2013. Projects like these help students see the importance of giving back.

The holiday season is right around the corner, kids of all ages begin writing their gift wishlist. For many families, the holidays are a happy and cheerful time. However, for some it is often stressful and worrisome. For some parents, the fear of not knowing if they will be able to afford to buy their children presents this year is a huge burden.

Adopt-A-Family is an organization through the Salvation Army that helps families in need during the holidays. The selected families provide a wishlist that include items such as toys, clothing and/or household items.

“I look forward to this every year,” Math teacher Lindsay Rizzo said. “Adopt-A-Family brings my class together giving gifts to families in need”.

MVHS has been apart of A.A.F. for the last thirteen years. We take on 30-35% of the  the Salvation Army qualified families. While Mustangs take pride in giving back, all of the high schools in the district are involved with Adopt-A-Family, or some other  family/student program for local shelters.

“Collecting gifts for families in need during the holidays is such a wonderful thing for us to do,” says Leadership teacher Andrea Greco.

Adopt2Every third period class at Monte Vista is given the opportunity to help a struggling family during the holidays. Each class is given one family to aid. The classes bring in money and with what they have collected buy the gifts that the family has requested. A truck comes to the school to collect all the donated gifts and takes them to the Salvation Army storage facility in Concord. A week or two before Christmas, the families come to the storage facility to pick up the gifts.

 “Giving families the things they cannot afford from the staff and students is a good way to let the less fortunate know they are still loved.” Sophomore Hayley O’Neill said.

Monte Vista doesn’t only participate in Adopt-A-Family. Adopt-A-Class is another option for third period classes to take a part in. Students will provide stockings stuffed with goodies for students at Verdae Elementary School in Richmond.

 “[Adopt-A-Family] is a good way to make poverty more tangible. It makes it more understandable to my class,”  English teacher Carrie Leadingham said.

Monte Vista also helps out  Adopt-A-Family Bikes, which has been around since 2002. It was created by St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, when many of the Adopt-A-Family wishlists asked for bikes. Bikes are donated, cleaned up and safety inspections are done to make sure the bikes are in their best conditions before they are given to the families.

“This year we have a family of 1, it was an 85 year old woman who is alone for the holidays, and Monte Vista has taken care of her this year.” Greco said.

The holidays can be a warm and giving time. Many of the students are learning that it can be better to give than to 2 (1)