By: Ethan Mathieu
“Holiday Helpers” is an annual fundraiser put on by the Junior Class Board during the holiday season. It starts the week before Thanksgiving and ends on December 9th.
The fundraiser aims to help less fortunate families by providing items that they need. Junior Class Board gets in contact with social workers from Smith and Duffy elementary schools to create a list of families who will participate in the fundraiser. Each family creates their own list of items their child(ern) need(s) for the winter, like boots and coats. Along with the necessities, the fundraiser also provides gifts of toys, games and crafts.
Ms. Vranich and Mrs. Theroux, co-leaders of Junior Class Board, run the fundraiser. The idea came when the West Hartford Educational Association (WHEA) approached the two of them with hopes of making Conard a sponsor of the “Holiday Bears” initiative. The two English teachers expanded the program, renaming it to “Holiday Helpers” in the process. When asked about their motivation to host this fundraiser each year, they said that they “...love knowing that the families and students who receive the donations need and appreciate [their] help. It is rewarding to help people right in our community, and the holidays are the best time to give.”
You can participate by finding a class, club or sports team that is sponsoring the program. Each group that chooses to sponsor receives a “wishlist” of items from individual students, and it's up to them to fulfill it. “... [W]e appreciate how generous and supportive the Conard community has been each year!” said Ms. Vranich and Mrs. Theroux in an interview. The success of the fundraiser truly relies on the actions of the Conard community.
Junior Class Board members will collect donations in the cafeteria during lunch waves starting the week after Thanksgiving, so if you can’t find a group that is sponsoring, you can still help out!