The Huntley High School Chapter of the National Honor Society not only continued its annual Adopt-a-Family initiative during the COVID-19 pandemic, but grew its efforts to provide for the needs of families in the local community.
The NHS has been organizing an Adopt-a-Family holiday outreach project for seven years, seeing growth each year as teams, departments, classes, clubs, and other groups came on board to “adopt” families and individuals to purchase items from their “wish list.”
Last year, 195 individuals were adopted. This year, that number has more than doubled to over 400 individuals, despite students facing challenges and operating in extremely different circumstances due to the pandemic.
“Typically, we have the delivery all in one day at the high school. Because of Covid, we were not allowed to meet inside the high school for people to bring their gifts for delivery,” said teacher Melanie Lyons, NHS sponsor.
The NHS works with two agencies, the Grafton Food Pantry and the The Community Santa Project to distribute collected items. Over four days in December, two for each agency, students stood outside to await individuals driving up with their delivery. The students then checked names off of the list and took the donations out of the cars, while wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.
“As I stood with students today at our second delivery day, it was an amazing feeling to stand and talk with students,” Lyons said. “I have been blessed to oversee this event. It gives me hope at the end of 2020, a year that has been crazy, sad, stressful and isolating.”