Senior continues holiday tradition with acts of giving

Senior Rachel Osterhaus prepared 20 backpacks for students with books, blankets and school supplies.

For senior Rachel Osterhaus, philanthropy is an important aspect of life.

“Giving back has always been something that has been important to me,” Osterhaus said.

For years, donating has been a major part of Osterhaus’s holiday routine, and with each year, new aspects come into play to create a bigger and better gift to the community.

“Last year around the holidays I adopted a family for Christmas, but this year, some backpacks were on sale where I work, and I had this idea to fill backpacks with school supplies for children rather than adopting a family.”

While the ever popular act of adopting a family in need and helping to supply them with Christmas presents is very popular and beneficial, Osterhaus had a different idea on how to serve her community.

“While I really enjoyed adopting a family last year, I could help many more kids this way, and it would be the same concept,” Osterhaus said.

Although Osterhaus is juggling this project on her own, the community has been there to help her when needed.

“I have purchased the blankets, the coloring books, the backpacks and the crayons, and for help I have received donations from different people, which will be really helpful because I will use that money to buy picture books, and I have also received pictures books.”

While the backpacks will go to schools across the community and benefit them greatly, Osterhaus also said she hopes to drive home a lesson to everyone as well.

“I want people to realize the importance of giving back to the community. Growing up, I was given a surplus of opportunities, and I was never faced with some of the challenges that many kids in our community face. I want to use the advantages that I have been given to help kids have the opportunities that I had as a child,” Osterhaus said. 

Osterhaus encouraged others to see the good that giving back can do for them.

“I want others to take from this that they can use the advantages that they have been gifted to help others.”

Those who would like to help Osterhaus give back to the community can donate gently used picture books or cash to english teacher Ms. Griffin’s room 201 until Nov. 9.

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