Kristi’s Christmas makes an impact

Spartans celebrate the true meaning of the holidays

Amirah Sumrean and Mike Damiano, Entertainment and Sports Editor

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Christmas: the most wonderful time of the year. For many, the holiday season is filled with family, food, and gifts. But for the less fortunate, Christmas can be a time where they feel left out as a result of their peers receiving a plethora of gifts and feasting for dinner. But this season is not just been about receiving, it’s also about giving.

For nearly 30 years, Kristi’s Christmas has been an organization in Fairfax that gives WS students the chance to lend a helping hand to these less fortunate children. It all started from Kristi, who once was a former Spartan. Her mother created the organization after Kristi died in a car crash. The event was also helped set up by WS girl’s basketball coach, Bill Gibson.

Spartans came together to help these less privileged children. On Saturday, December 1st, Spartans came together with these children to spread some holiday cheer.

“We all met at the Waterford by Springfield Mall and we sat at these tables and waited for the kids to come in. They bring them in by school, and we had these name tags with the kids’ names on them and when their name got called you went and met them,” said junior Lauren Gagliano, who participated in Kristi’s Christmas for a second year.

The WS girl’s basketball program also continuously participates in Kriti’s christmas each year, and means something special to each player.

“We do it every year and being able to give back to the community is really special to all of us, especially because some of us went to the schools that these kids come from,” said Senior Brooke Beyer.

The children and their high school mentors enjoyed the morning eating a delicious breakfast and conversing with one another about their lives, followed by a trip to the Springfield Mall Target located across the street.

“We each got $125 to spend on the kid based on what they needed at home. Whether it was  shoes, shirts, coats, or pajamas, we were there to help them pick out what they needed,” said junior Ilisha Turnblom, who also participated in Kristi’s Christmas for the second year.

WS students spent the day shopping around Target and spending time with their kid, and then returned to the Waterford to meet with a special guest.

“We took them back and we had a holiday party with them in a separate room where they got to meet Santa and they got a gift bag and they were super happy,” said Turnblom.

This heartwarming experience was a humbling one for the WS students and was just as beneficial to them as it was to the children. It’s exciting to see the holiday spirit embody our students as they spread kindness and donate their time to helping our community. Once students take part in the program, many feel it’s hard to not return to this annual celebration.

“[I did it again because] one, it’s a really fun experience and two, you feel like you’re important because you’re directly impacting someone,” said Gagliano. “It’s not like donating money, you’re really being in this kid’s life and making a memory for them so that’s really nice.”

The students who participate in Kristi’s Christmas often look forward to doing it again and are always looking for more students to join.

“We’re really looking to expand and get as many people to volunteer as we can next year so we’d love for anyone to sign up,” said Beyer.

 

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