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Gift Ex-Change The World

Hey kiddos, it’s Christmas again. You know what that means — lights, mistletoe, presents, hot cocoa, and, of course, the Oakridge Gift Exchange! Oh, that last one wasn’t on your list of ~Christmassy~ things? Well, it should be. What says Christmas more than giving to others? NOTHING. So gear up and donate, donate, donate! But…what […]

Hey kiddos, it’s Christmas again. You know what that means — lights, mistletoe, presents, hot cocoa, and, of course, the Oakridge Gift Exchange! Oh, that last one wasn’t on your list of ~Christmassy~ things? Well, it should be. What says Christmas more than giving to others? NOTHING. So gear up and donate, donate, donate!

But…what exactly are we giving? Religion teacher and Lasallian Youth moderator Mr. Julian Elorduy is here with all the answers.

“For as long as I can remember students [at CB] have been coming together to donate a toy to students at Oakridge,” he says. :This year we are trying to give a gift to every student who is in the after school program at Oakridge, which is approximately 70 or 80 students.”

That’s a lot of kids who need some Christmas in their lives. So, CB students donate gifts…but then what happens? Who wraps the presents? How are they getting to the children? Well, we have our very own little helper elves: Lasallian Youth!

“Lasallian Youth is gathering the toys, wrapping them up, and on the eleventh we’re going to have someone dress as Santa and we’re going to go over and distribute the toys to the students,” Mr. Elorduy explained.

Sounds like our very own little Christmas miracle here at CB. Except, maybe not totally a miracle, because we know we have many people working hard to make it happen. The Talon talked to one of these people who work so hard to get the Oakridge students their gifts, Emma Talley (’19), who has been working with Lasallian Youth on this event since her freshman year.

“We give gifts to the kids every year,” she says. “You know you get to know these kids for four to five months, you get to know what they like and what they’re in to, and you get to get them gifts at Christmas, and it’s just really cool. And they love it — it’s really awesome.”

Sounds fulfilling and truly Lasallian. Serving others is, after all, what we do best at CB. And what’s better is that more people than ever are helping out.

“[My] freshman year and sophomore year we started out with like ninety-something people and then it dwindled down at the end of the year to like 6 [people] — like super, duper tiny,” Emma explained. “So, we didn’t have a lot of people coming consistently, but this year it’s awesome because we have a big group — bigger than we’ve had the last two years.”

It’s heartwarming that CB has a growing service community, especially when it comes to something that helps people have a happy Christmas.

So, what can you do to help out? Well, if you didn’t sign up to be part of the gift exchange, don’t worry–Christmas isn’t the only time to help out at Oakridge. There’s also a program for CB students to tutor Oakridge kids. And beyond Oakridge there are lots of opportunities: Wellspring, the Food Bank, or even just volunteering for events at CB. Get in the Christmas spirit — the TRUE Christmas spirit — and serve!

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