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Draper Journal

Canyons students lend a hand to others

Feb 01, 2018 10:28AM ● By Julie Slama

The "Save of Shave" event at Hillcrest High School helped raise more than $1,300, the most they've ever made through the event; the money was donated to Make-a-Wish Foundation. Seen here is senior John Ruff, who had his hair shaved to support granting three people's wishes. (Melinda Schwendiman/Hillcrest High School Student Body Historian)

This winter, Willow Canyon students brought in boxes of cereal — 870 boxes, in fact. 

The Sandy students, led by the school’s student council, wanted to make sure students who regularly counted on school breakfast had breakfast over the winter break. They gave their donations to their peers at Midvale Elementary.

“Their helping hands culminated a month-long theme of service to others and the importance of being kind,” Principal Marilyn Williams said, adding that donations were also taken as part of their holiday school choir performance.

Willow Canyon was one of more than 25 Canyons District schools to hold donation drives. 

Despite the robust economy, intergenerational poverty continues to be a problem in Utah, said Canyons School District spokesman Jeff Haney.

“In Canyons District, we value service learning — the idea that we learn so much about ourselves when we’re in the service of others,” he said. “It’s heartwarming to watch school communities participate in their holiday donation drives every year. Across the district, we saw acts of charity, both big and small, that showed the depth of care of our community.”

Canyons District administration also took the lead by raising $11,300 and collecting winter clothing for residents of The Road Home in Midvale, a homeless shelter within the district’s boundaries. An event to benefit their efforts was combined with a luncheon performance at Jordan Valley and a silent auction. 

As part of Canyons’ partnership with the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce, the district also gathered gently used purses and jewelry for People Helping People, an organization that helps low-income women, primarily single mothers, find jobs with living wages. 

Canyons District schools also hosted drives for food, clothing, stuffed animals, books and other items. Amongst the numerous service projects, at more than five schools, students supported their peers at another Canyons school with food and clothing drives. Students at about seven other schools donated food items to the Utah Food Bank.

At Midvale Middle School, books were brought in and Jordan High pitched in to donate clothing, all earmarked for the Boys and Girls Club. At Park Lane, students participated in Project Teddy Bear with the Bank of American Fork, and Willow Springs donated items for The Road Home and Ronald McDonald House. Union Middle School students contributed to a local animal shelter while Brookwood Elementary held a fundraiser for Utah’s Ouelessebougou Alliance. 

Both Corner Canyon High and Brighton High held activities to benefit the Tyler Robinson Foundation, with Brighton’s to finish late January. Indian Hills Middle and Hillcrest High held fundraisers to benefit Make-a-Wish Foundation.

Indian Hills student council organized their coin drive fundraiser, which was slated Jan. 22 through Feb. 2. It included incentives such as faculty dyeing their hair, kissing a piglet, taking a pie to their faces and performing a dance routine.

“We’re pretty excited for it,” said Kamil Harrison, seventh-grade social studies teacher and student council adviser.

Hillcrest raised more than $14,400 to help three youth receive their wishes, said student body vice president Lizzie Jensen. 

“This year we added a lot to our own plates, but we really wanted to make the fundraiser a big deal. I think our all day assemblies may have helped a ton,” she said, adding that they raised more than $7,000 that day alone.

One of the three wishes will go to an unnamed Hillcrest student that has been diagnosed with leukemia, Jensen said, adding that students knew their donations were helping someone from their school.

“We made sure it was addressed on why we picked the Make-a-Wish Foundation,” Jensen said. “She is a very sweet girl — we’re so glad we got to raise money to help her wish come true.”