Students buy gifts for 50 children

Photo by Kristen Ralph

Photo by Kristen Ralph

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Students at Maxwell High School of Technology are helping 50 children in Gwinnett County have a merry Christmas.

The school partnered with the Quinn House to provide clothing and toys for 50 needy children in the community.

Each class adopted a child, and many groups raised money using the skills they learned at school, said Harry Lara, the president of Maxwell's SkillsUSA chapter, which organized the community service project. For example, he said, students in the auto services program raised money by performing oil changes and washing cars.

Pat Travis, the Quinn House's Christmas program manager, said Maxwell is one of the biggest supporters of the charity. This is the 13th year the school has participated in this community service project.

"They put their whole heart into it," Travis said. "They do become the child's Santa."

Travis said hundreds of families have approached the Lawrenceville-based nonprofit organization for help this Christmas.

"I think it is one of the most amazing things you can do," Madihah Abuhazim, the vice president of the SkillsUSA chapter, said of the community service project. "Just to be someone's Santa, it's heartwarming."

Maxwell High School of Technology offers technical education programs to juniors and seniors in Gwinnett County high schools. But it wasn't just those students who adopted children for Christmas. Groups of teachers and the school's prekindergarten class also participated.

"It is amazing to see the children from the 4-year-olds in the preschool class to me 19-year-olds joining together in a time when the economy is tough to reach out and help other Gwinnett County children in need," said Tricia Floyd, the Georgia Pre-K teacher and SkillsUSA chapter adviser. "They have an opportunity to be Santa Claus and make another child's holiday bright."

Members of the community interested in adopting a child for Christmas can contact Travis at 770-317-5026.

Community members can also visit stores participating in the Quinn House's Angel Tree program. The stores have Christmas trees decorated with angels containing the description of a child and the toy the child wishes to receive. To participate, take an angel from the tree, purchase the gift, tape the angel to the unwrapped gift and return to the store to place the gift under the tree.

For more information, visit www.thequinnhouse.com.