Return to Headlines

El Paso High continues traditions of holiday giving through the pandemic

EPHS Tiger Toy Drive

(EL PASO HIGH SCHOOL -- Dec. 8, 2020) — Santa and his team of elves are in full holiday spirit at El Paso High. The team of elves at Lady on the Hill are collecting for their toy drive through Thursday. 

This year’s event is being combined with another special tradition El Paso High does every year to give their students in need an extra boost during the holiday season. The tradition started years back with parents, teachers and alumni selecting a card on their giant Christmas tree with instructions for a gift to a selected student, but it had to be tweaked this year with virtual learning in place. 

“Thankfully, this has become a tradition at our campus, and I had 105 $20 gift cards donated from parents, teachers, and faculty's family members without even advertising,” said SAM Lindie Serna, who started the tradition when she was the FCCLA sponsor. “They all came to me this year, ready to give.”  

Serna explained that the tradition started when their group realized that most organizations offering holiday gifts with toy and cloth drives targeted younger students. Serna is proud of the tradition and how it is staying alive especially during the pandemic. 

“It allows others the opportunity to give to our own school community that is in need,” Serna said. “Secondly, these teenagers are still kids. I mean, who doesn't look forward to getting a gift for themselves over the holidays? It allows these students a chance to be independent and purchase whatever they would like.”

Serna teamed up with graduation coach Melissa Arreola to discreetly identify kids.

“This year, StuCo decided that as the recipient's come through to pick up their gift cards, we would gift our toys from our toy drive to the little siblings,” Serna said.

Story by Reneé de Santos