On top of their regular end-of-the-semester school work, juniors and seniors in the Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) class at Hayes took time recently to buy Christmas gifts for a family they adopted.
On Dec. 19, the students in the JAG class wrapped the gifts and loaded them into instructor Mark Thomas’ car so he could deliver them to the family they had adopted for Christmas.
Thomas said at the start of the school year, the Ohio Career Association officers have a meeting about what types of community service projects they’d like to accomplish this year, and adopting a family for Christmas was one of the projects they decided on.
Senior Chloe Barton said the class is generally about self-improvement and helping others, and she added adopting a family for Christmas is in line with the class’ goals.
“JAG is about making yourself better as a person and helping people,” Barton said. “For Thanksgiving, we adopted a family and got them a Thanksgiving dinner. For Christmas, we all went shopping and had dinner. It’s a nice feeling to know we are helping families who can’t have what we have every year.”
Thomas said the students spent about $600 on gifts for the mother and her two sons, and that while most of the money came from the JAG fund, some of it came from the students themselves.
“I enjoyed giving back to somebody else, to give Christmas for their family,” said Maddie Izworski, a senior. “My favorite part is knowing that we are going to make someone’s Christmas 20-times better.”
Izworski and Barton said they also enjoyed going on the shopping trip with their classmates.
“It was a whole lot of fun,” Barton said. “We mixed in with the other classes, and it was a great way to make more friends from school. People I’ve never even met, I went shopping with.”
Izworski said she’s really enjoyed JAG this year and enjoyed getting to know her classmates more.
“JAG is a family more than a class,” Izworski said. “I look forward to this class more every day. We do something different, and it’s not always books, books, books.”
Thomas said he was proud of the students and hoped they got a sense of pride from their work.
“I think they gained a sense of pride in community; pride in the JAG organization and pride in themselves for what they did,” Thomas said.
Thomas delivered the gifts after school on Dec. 19.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.