Emily Mitchell | The Name | Vol 3 2012-2013

Senior Caitlin Welsh spends some time with students and Holy Name Elementary.

On Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, the corner of Harvard and Broadway was crowded with Holy Name High School seniors, excitedly carrying loads of presents and cupcakes into Holy Name Elementary’s gym.  The first day of finals was complete, and the seniors were ready to bring Christmas cheer to the children.  The seniors divided into groups and hauled the bags brimming with gifts up the staircase to the classrooms.

The anticipation was tangible in every classroom, and in a flurry of torn wrapping paper and sparkling bows, the students and seniors admired the presents.  The boys played with footballs, basketballs, and toy cars while the girls held prized Barbie dolls and hair accessories.  Shouts filled the air as one student exclaimed, “This is the best Christmas ever!” and another squealed, “I always wanted this!”

For over 15 years, Holy Name High School has been providing students at Holy Name Elementary with Christmas presents.  Each year, a Christmas tree in the main foyer is adorned with tags labeled with the names of 175 to 225 students.  Secretary Mrs. Mulac always generously purchases 10 extra gifts to cover any unforeseen circumstances.

Most of the theology department attended, including Mr. Ontko, Mrs. Wallace, Mr. Farrell, and Ms. Gresko.  Ms. Williams and Mrs. Day also attended, taking pictures, helping seniors hand out gifts, and talking with the children.

Mr. Ontko said that his favorite part of the day is spending time with the young students.  “It’s hard to beat being with the kindergarteners and the first graders.  They’re so fun.  Some seniors also realize what they have and how fortunate they are, which is an added bonus,” he said.

This experience offers seniors at Holy Name High School a priceless opportunity to bring joy to the young students at Holy Name Elementary.  As Mr. Ontko said, “There is a real need to give at Christmastime.  Giving really helps you open up your heart to the birth of Christ.”