Hamilton School District students, staff and families showed appreciation for the needs of others during the holidays by contributing to charitable organizations and extending acts of kindness within the community and beyond. Following is a summary of activities at each school.
Willow Springs Learning Center
Willow Springs Learning Center four-year-old kindergartners and their families contributed generously to Sussex Outreach Services (SOS) this holiday season. Families and staff collected more than 300 gifts, and students hand-delivered them as a group to St. James Catholic Church where they sang songs before returning to school. The toys and gifts will be distributed within the local community.
Lannon Elementary School
All students participated in Lannon Cares, a new event supported by Waukesha State Bank, Lannon Home & School and donations from families. Each Lannon student made a bagged lunch of sandwich, apple sauce and a snack for an area homeless shelter. Nearly 300 lunches were donated. In addition, students wrote greetings to area veterans and military members presently away from their families.
Lannon staff sponsored a family of four from SOS for Christmas and generously donated toys, games, household items, gas and grocery gift cards and clothing items to help them this holiday season.
Students decorated 300 paper grocery bags donated by Sussex Piggly Wiggly to be used at the SOS Food Pantry Christmas dinner.
Maple Avenue Elementary School
Maple Avenue staff sponsored a Sussex area family for Christmas and generously donated bedding, food, toys, games, books, kitchen supplies, clothing, toiletries, grocery and other gift cards to help them this holiday season.
Maple Avenue buddy classes in first and third grades earned money by doing extra work at home. They raised more than $800 to purchase more than 150 books and book sets for all ages and reading levels that families could enjoy during the holiday season. All books were donated to SOS.
Marcy Elementary School
Kindergarten classes made birthday cake kits for the SOS Food Pantry.
First grade classes collected personal hygiene items and socks in November and December for SOS. They have begun collecting soup and mitten kits for the SOS Food Pantry to be donated in February.
Second grade classes made hundreds of fleece blankets to donate to the NICU at Children’s Hospital in Chicago. All blankets go home with a NICU patient or a child in the oncology ward. All fleece has been donated and turned into blankets by second grade students and families.
Each year our third grade classes make donations to Children’s Hospital in Chicago. They will complete their charitable drive in early spring.
Fourth graders are supporting veterans by writing letters and making cards for each of the Honor Flights.
This year all Marcy students collected money for the Stars and Stripes Honor Flight. Nearly $1,500 was collected to send five veterans on an upcoming flight.
Woodside Elementary School
Kindergartners in Peter Dargatz’s class raised nearly $1,000 in October for their classroom charity, Children’s Wisconsin, formerly Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. They are now collecting “Dargatz Dollars” for classroom and home tasks in their “wants and needs” unit. Dollars are turned in for items students wanted and donated to patients in need at Children’s Wisconsin. Students and families also had the option to sign a giving contract to give up one holiday want, donating that gift’s value to those in need. Later this year, kindergartners will be leading more events to add to their donations, including a Cookies & Cocoa event in February, an Earth Day Recyclable Sale in April, and a Positivity Packages drive before summer break.
Kindergarten classes delivered gifts for 98 residents at Serenity Village, an assisted living residence in Slinger. As part of the kindergarten service project, students and their families signed up to provide gifts for individuals at the facility. Gifts were distributed at the residents’ holiday party. This is the ninth year for the service project.
Woodside first and third grade families brought donations for the SOS Food Pantry to their holiday music performances.
Woodside families and staff members collected $1,750 before Thanksgiving to create turkey tubs filled with groceries for families in need in Milwaukee’s Notre Dame Middle School community for the eighth consecutive year. Woodside students were asked to donate money they earned by doing chores at home. Parent volunteers shopped for groceries to build the tubs. Items included a frozen turkey, bag of stuffing, jar of gravy, sweet potatoes, fresh vegetables, bread, canned cranberries, a fresh pie, beverages, appetizers such as crackers and nuts, along with an aluminum roasting pan. All items were put into 26 large sturdy tubs and delivered to families. A donation of $120 from funds that remained after the tubs were prepared was donated to SOS Food Pantry.
Julie Pettit’s fourth grade class is making fleece blankets for cats and dogs. They will donate the blankets to the Wisconsin Humane Society.
Silver Spring Intermediate School
Silver Spring staff collected food and cash donations for SOS Food Pantry during the staff holiday gathering and adopted a family providing toys, clothing, household items and gift cards to make their holiday special.
Students and staff in the grade 6 yellow house collected donations for a student who has been out of school with an illness. Items were delivered to the family’s home.
Templeton Middle School
Templeton Student Council held a candy cane sale to benefit SOS.
Hamilton High School
Hamilton A Cappella, Cantabile and Concert Choirs spread cheer by caroling at the Sussex Lioness Club luncheon, Lions Club Dinner, Sussex Senior Citizens Christmas Luncheon and Milwaukee’s Third Ward tree-lighting ceremony.
Hamilton’s Synergy Show Choir is currently working to raise money for Thirst Project, a non-profit organization that builds clean wells to provide water for villages around the world.
Charger Marching Band donated more than 600 pounds of goods to SOS this fall through a food and items drive.
Club Action continued its school supply collection to benefit Hope Center of Waukesha. Club members raised funds to support turtle conservation efforts and a group of seniors led a recycled craft with district kindergarten classes. Club Action continued to circulate funds through Kiva.org, which provides business loans to impoverished women around the world and hosted a holiday event that instructed students how to create bags out of old t-shirts and raise money for Heifer International, which provides livestock to impoverished families globally.
Hamilton DECA members shopped for holiday presents for the first grade class at Gaenslen Elementary School in Milwaukee. Gaenslen first-graders completed “All About Me” forms and Hamilton DECA members provided gift bags with at least one nice toy and other inexpensive gifts to these students. Gaenslen is located in a Milwaukee neighborhood that has one of the lowest household incomes in the state. Several first grade students are homeless. In addition to delivering presents, Hamilton DECA brought them cookies and juice. Hamilton students spent the afternoon of Dec. 13 reading books, putting together new toys and playing with the children for whom they shopped. This has become an annual event for Hamilton DECA and is always a heart-warming experience for students who participate. The advisor and 32 students made the trip.
Hamilton German Club raised money and collected clothing to support individuals and families in need. A club-wide coin drive raised more than $125 which was used to purchase items for the Milwaukee Rescue Mission. Items purchased included food pantry items, toiletries, winter outerwear and toys. Hamilton German Club also collected more than 100 articles of clothing that were donated to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission.
Global Education Club strives to improve the lives of children around the world. Members organized a book drive to donate to the St. Ann Intergenerational Care Center which serves people of all ages and abilities in the Milwaukee area. More than 1,000 books were collected and donated. Members read to the children at the St. Ann Child Care Center and gave each child a book to take home.
Hamilton HOSA-Future Healthcare Professionals is raising money for the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation, which is the national-level HOSA service project. HOSA members managed to collect donations from club members totaling more than $130 in just a few weeks. Hamilton HOSA will continue to raise money for this organization as the chapter service project for the school year.
JOI (Junior Optimist International) Club members, with help from National Honor Society and Student Council, met in November to pack 60 shoe boxes with items that were shipped to children in South America and Africa. Operation Christmas Child provides children with shoe boxes filled with clothing, school supplies, hygiene products and toys. It is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization. Teachers throughout the high school had large boxes in their classrooms for two weeks that students filled with donated items.
National Honor Society (NHS) held a community blood drive serving Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin. More than 123 people donated — enough to save 306 local patients in need. Members hosted food drives at Sussex Piggly Wiggly and Pick N Save to benefit SOS the week before Thanksgiving, securing 3,392 pounds of food and $2,876 in monetary donations over the course of the three day pre-Thanksgiving drive.
Charger Robotics holds monthly drives for nonperishable food and personal care items to support SOS. The robotics team also provides a significant work force during the Stamp-Out-Hunger event helping sort items, unloading trucks, sorting food items and checking expiration dates. Extra team t-shirts and uniforms from previous years are donated to SOS. Charger Robotics also hosts a “Bleed for Bots” blood drive. The last drive collected 47 units of blood.
Spanish Club and Spanish classes hosted a toy and clothing drive for Waukesha County Christmas Clearing Council. Students donated items such as winter jackets, clothing, toys, books and gift cards. Gifts were delivered to the Christmas Clearing Council drop-off location at Waukesha State Bank in Sussex.
Hamilton School Student Council adopted two families through the Waukesha County Christmas Clearing Council. Student Council members shopped and wrapped the gifts. A Spirit of Giving initiative was held in school. Students from all four grade levels were randomly selected to receive a $5 gift card.
Club Unique raised money through a flower sale and donated all of the profits to Feeding Hungry Children which provides food for children.
High School Office and Publications – High school staff members adopted two families providing them with many items to brighten their holidays including wrapped gifts of toys, games, clothing, personal items, household goods and gift cards.
District staff members
District office staff members adopted a family in lieu of exchanging gifts with one another. They provided wrapped gifts of toys, games, clothing, food, personal items, household goods and gift cards for families in need of support.