NDA Community Steps Up, Embraces Give a Gift Program


Maxwell Timmer, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Editor’s Update:  According to Mrs. Fredrick on Friday, all the tags, the wish items, had been claimed by students, staff and Notre Dame families.

“Part of our mission at NDA is service and this is a great way to serve families during the holidays,” said Mrs. Gina Fredrick, the lead adviser of Give a Gift. 

Give a Gift is a project where the NDA community fulfills Christmas wish list items from students at a nearby school to make their Christmas special. Classes, homerooms, clubs and families are encouraged to help serve the community by giving back this holiday season. 

Last year, the Give a Gift project was able to give back 85 gifts to the community. So far this year, 60 tags have been claimed with others already willing to take the remaining 10 tags. 

Under the leadership of advisers Mrs. Fredrick and Frau Laaksonen, Student Government runs the project. Give a Gift, in some form, has been going on for 15 years. 

“This is a great project where students, families, community members and friends can join together to help make Chrstimas really special for people who may not be able to afford more than the necessities,” explained Fredrick. 

One way that students have gotten involved more is through their classes. For the past two years, Mrs. Carolyn Brown’s classes have given many gifts with each class. 

As an example, the IB Senior class during 5th hour took two tags for two kids this year. 

This tradition of asking classes started last year with Mrs. Brown bringing up the idea to her 6th hour class. “The kids have been amazing,” said veteran English teacher Carolyn Brown.  “One little comment has led to a dozen Give-a-Gift donations from my classes.” 

From there, a dozen gifts were donated last year from Brown’s classes and eight so far this year. “I’ve been so surprised about kids’ willingness to donate,” explained Brown. 

“It brings us joy, as much as the recipients, just knowing those children will open their one true wish item on Christmas. As long as we can serve and families are willing to donate to this project, we will continue it,” said Fredrick.