Project Santa Photos


Sofia Marini-Higgs

Seniors Elizabeth Szafranski and Skylar McAulliffe make ornaments for French National Honor Society.

Bright eyes. Wide smiles. Christmas spirit. Children and volunteers alike showed their holiday cheer at this year’s Project Santa. With booths from clubs from the Guitar Club to Robotics, there were many activities for the kids.

Some volunteers were new to Project Santa. Senior and two year member of the Cancer Awareness Club Ilana Inselbuch was surprised to see how her expectations of the event compared with reality.

“I thought there would just be rows of tables, with everyone sitting quietly making things, but this is awesome,” Inselbuch said. “It was so fun getting to meet the kids and work with them and see how happy they were.”

Along with working with the kids, Project Santa allowed volunteers to meet up with friends. Sophomore and Art Club member Anne Liu saw other volunteers that she knew at the event.

“There were fewer kids than I expected, but it was also more fun than I expected,” Liu said. “I did not know what other clubs were going to be at Project Santa, so I was surprised to see a lot of people that I knew.”

Before volunteers got to interact with the children and each other, they first had to plan a booth. Senior Elena Zhang worked to organize the Cancer Awareness Club booth.

“We brainstormed ideas and looked online,” Zhang said. “We thought decorating cookies was a fun idea. It is interactive with the kids and not too complicated.”

To plan their booth, the Art Club met the Thursday before Project Santa to make stencils and other materials. Once they had everything together, they were ready to entertain the kids.

“I think that the kids liked getting their faces painted,” Liu said. “It is just a cool activity. The smaller kids liked the face painting better. Once they saw people getting stencils, the little boys thought it was cool and were like ‘hey, let’s go get those too.”

As she interacted with the children, Inselbuch learned a lot about how to run a booth. She had one main piece of advice for anyone who is looking to set a booth for the first time.

“Be really welcoming to the kids,” Inselbuch said. “The kids are already shy and nervous about being here, so if you are like ‘It’s cool, it’s whatever,’ they will enjoy themselves more.”