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Hamilton schools contribute to community during holidays

It looked different this year, but even during a pandemic, Hamilton School District students, staff and families showed appreciation for the needs of others during the holidays by extending acts of kindness, sponsoring families in need and contributing to charitable organizations. Following is a summary of activities at each school.

Willow Springs Learning Center

Willow Springs Learning Center held a special Snowball Food Drive Challenge to collect items for the Sussex Outreach Services (SOS) Food Pantry. Students were challenged to donate specific items each day: Macaroni Monday, Tuna and ‘Tato Tuesday, Wacky Wednesday (toilet paper), Peanut Butter and Jelly Thursday and Free Choice Friday. A snowball was added to a graph for each item donated. Students enjoyed watching the graph grow and generously filled 20 large boxes.

Lannon Elementary School

Students wrote holiday letters to area senior citizens offering holiday greetings and well-wishes.

Lannon staff sponsored a family of four from SOS and generously donated toys, games, household items, gas and grocery gift cards and clothing items to help them this holiday season.

Students decorated more than 200 paper grocery bags provided by Sussex Piggly Wiggly and donated them to the SOS Food Pantry for its Christmas dinner.

Maple Avenue Elementary School

Maple Avenue staff sponsored a Sussex area family and generously donated bedding, food, toys, games, books, kitchen supplies, clothing, toiletries, grocery and other gift cards to help them this holiday season.

Marcy Elementary School

Marcy staff sponsored a family in need. An additional family was adopted by a Marcy Scout Troop.

Woodside Elementary School

Kindergartners in Peter Dargatz’s class raised nearly $1,800 in December for their classroom charity, Children’s Wisconsin (formerly Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin). They collected “Dargatz Dollars” for classroom and home tasks in their “wants and needs” unit. Dollars were 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.

In lieu of taking food donations at music programs which were canceled this year, Woodside staff and families were encouraged to make monetary donations directly to the SOS Food Pantry.

Silver Spring Intermediate School

Students and staff collected more the 320 pounds of food and $990 in gift card donations for the SOS Food Pantry.

Templeton Middle School

Templeton Middle School students and staff collected 120 new winter hats in a successful hat drive organized by Student Council.

Recognizing an additional need for non-perishable food items at the SOS Food Pantry, TMS Week of Giving was launched Dec. 14 – 18. Students were invited to bring in an assigned food item and wear themed-clothing such as silly socks, warm scarfs and holiday sweaters each day.

Hamilton High School

Charger Marching Band hosted a food drive to benefit SOS. Band students organized and performed in outdoor, socially-distanced small-group community concerts.

Club Action conducted a fundraiser to benefit the Australian Koala Foundation and Heifer International. The club will continue to provide small business loans to applicants in developing countries.

Hamilton DECA members sponsored a holiday toy drive Nov. 23 – Dec. 11 to benefit children staying at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. The donation of 410 toys with a value of more than $1,500 was a result of student and community toy and monetary donations.

Hamilton German Club continued its tradition of community support by donating $120 from candy sales to SOS.

Global Education Club, in furthering its goal of improving lives of children around the world, purchased items for and assembled 200 snack packs and messages of hope for children awaiting foster care placement with the Division of Milwaukee Child Protective Services. The donation was made thorough Kids Matter, Inc. a Milwaukee-based organization of volunteers that advocates for abused and neglected children.

Hamilton HOSA-Future Healthcare Professionals is raising money for the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation, which is the national-level HOSA service project. HOSA members donated $200 to this cause.

Junior Optimist International (JOI) 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) sponsored with the assistance of Science Club and Club Action, a series of holiday food drives to benefit SOS , securing $3,152 in monetary donations and 2,113 pounds of food. NHS also collected two vehicles full of clothing for Foster reStore of Racine after a recent fire.

Spanish Club and Spanish classes hosted a fundraiser for Waukesha County Christmas Clearing Council and donated $1,100 to purchase gift cards for families the council serves.

Student Council

Hamilton Student Council sponsored a blood drive Nov. 20, and another is scheduled Dec. 31 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Horne Mudlitz Post, W232 N6368 Waukesha Ave., Sussex. Contact the American Red Cross at redcrossblood.org using sponsor code Sussex Hamilton to schedule an appointment or call 1-800-733-2767.

Club Unique donated to the No Kid Hungry Foundation which offers and schedules summer and before- and afterschool meals, food education and advocacy, and relief to families and school districts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earth and Space and AP Environmental Science classes raised money for Water.org to bring awareness to the 2 billion people without adequate sanitation and safe water supplies. This organization brings safe water directly to homes for families in need so they can wash their hands and don’t have to leave their homes to collect water.

High school office and publications – High school staff members adopted a family providing many items to brighten their holidays including wrapped gifts of toys, games, clothing, personal items, household goods and gift cards.

Staff Sunshine Club and Denim Days – staff members contributed $620 to Disabled Veterans Association of Milwaukee.

District staff members

District office staff members adopted two families in lieu of exchanging gifts. They provided wrapped gifts of toys, games, clothing, food, personal items, household goods and gift cards.