by Felicia DeInnocentiis | Staff Writer

The gift-giving season is approaching, and student programs are organizing donation projects, among them the Johnson Dance Team’s annual Toys for Tots drive, to secure a happier holiday for families in need.

The Toys for Tots drive has officially begun and is accepting a variety of donated play items for children of all ages.

“”[The drive] is very broad,” dance coach Stephanie Trevino said. “We’ve just explained to the girls how every kid is in need, whether they’re younger or all the way up to high school, or even middle school.”

Though the scope of the donations is broad, some general prerequisites exist.

“I prefer new [toys],” Trevino said. “If it has been used, it has to be in good condition. We don’t usually bring stuffed animals because of allergies and the dust particles in them.”

The dance team is not the only organization giving back to the community this month.

“I know PALS is doing [Toys for Tots], and I know Pep Squad is doing a blanket drive for a homeless shelter,” Trevino said.

All donations and proceeds for Toys for Tots go to Christus Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital. Though the drive is primarily held among Dance and PALS participants, all Johnson students are encouraged to pitch in with a donation or two.

“It’s especially open to anyone. It helps [the dance team] individually, but if other students want to donate from campus, they definitely can,” Trevino said.

The Dance and Drill teams are also volunteering with Adopt-a-Family which provides for needy families and children in the area who cannot afford to celebrate a traditional holiday season.

“We’re doing Adopt-a-Family and other organizations are doing that. We’re doing ours after Thanksgiving, like Dance is doing it on Saturday and Drill is doing it on Sunday. The girls… bring money and wrapping paper, and they go shopping,” Trevino said.

The Toys for Tots drive ends Wednesday, December 8, but there are other opportunities for students to give back to the community. Students can help make a difference by supporting the NHS Toy drive for Leukemia and the JROTC Food Drive.

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About The Author

Felicia DeInnocentiis is a junior at Johnson High School. This is her second year on the newspaper staff. After high school, she aspires to go to college and major in music and, possibly, music composition. One of Felicia's goals is to be a contributing writer for Rolling Stone magazine.

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