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BC High in the Christmas Spirit

Tim Miklus '17

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What better way to get in the Christmas spirit than buying presents for complete strangers? Every December, BC High celebrates a unique experience in partnership with My Brother’s Keeper, a Christian charity based in Southeastern Massachusetts. This charity, which has been serving families in Massachusetts since 1988, has a core mission of bringing love and hope to whomever they serve.

Christmas can be a difficult time for families in poverty. According to the US Census Bureau, the percentage of children in Massachusetts below the poverty line is 14.9%. For these children, a season of love, joy, and hope is overshadowed by their problems of poverty, hunger, and despair which they face on a day-to-day basis. Through the generosity of My Brother’s Keeper and other charitable organizations, these families are given the joy of Christmas, something to which every child should be entitled. But how does the generosity of BC High play a role in this Christmas season?

As the Christmas season approaches, various clubs and organizations throughout BC High, from the hockey team to the admissions office and everything in between, sign up to sponsor families for Christmas. My Brother’s Keeper sends a list of several eligible families—typically three people per family— to BC High. The members of these families request several items to receive for presents—anything from PS4 games for a 10-year old boy to perfume and make up for a mother. Then, members of organizations sign up for at least one gift to buy for these families.

On December 14, many members of the school community gathered in the cafeteria to wrap the presents purchased for these struggling families. The mood is often festive and full of cheer as students and faculty admire each other’s generosity. Michael O’Donovan ’17, who was wrapping presents for the Green Eagles club, noted, “It’s a really cool day. It’s great for these kids. You imagine going through Christmas and not getting anything. But we’re like Santa Claus for these kids and it’s cool to be a part of it.” Perhaps the best way to embody the spirit of Christmas is to be selfless and spend time and money on gifts for others, even if they are complete strangers.

Some members of the BC High community further spread Christmas cheer to those in need. On December 18, roughly thirty students and faculty members gave up a day of their weekend to volunteer at Christmas in the City, an annual event at the Boston Convention Center. At Christmas in the City, thousands of homeless and poor families visit the Winter Wonderland, a large carnival-style event featuring rides, games, a banquet, presents, a petting zoo, and pictures with Santa, along with health screenings, flu shots, and haircuts. BC High students helped at this event by operating rides and dressing up as Santa. Reflecting on his experiences, Pat Walsh ’17 noted, “Being Santa was enjoyable, as I could see some kids’ nametags, so I used their real names. They would become amazed that Santa knew their name, and I felt humbled to be able to make those kids smile and laugh in awe of Santa.” This was truly an opportunity of selflessness and Christmas giving. The spirit of Christmas is alive and well at BC High every December, and hopefully the school community will continue to find ways to share their joy with others.

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BC High in the Christmas Spirit