We asked our community to tell us about holiday moments that have inspired them and helped them see that the work they do as PTO leaders is well worth it. Here’s what they shared:
Middle School Helpers
One of my favorite moments was from our recent Holiday Shoppe & Breakfast. At the conclusion of the event my amazing middle school volunteers paused a moment to take a quick picture with Santa before we started our clean up duties. These students did (and continue to do) an incredible job! They truly are our Husky Helpers and at this event, our elves! - Jaci D.
Breakfast With Santa
My favorite holiday moment has to be the Breakfast With Santa event our PTO hosts. Our group works months in advance preparing for this event, sending out flyers, selling tickets, asking for donations, recruiting volunteers and vendors. We have teachers volunteer to serve breakfast, our music teacher and principal provide holiday music, and we also have local crafters set up vendor table to sell their goods. The highlight of the morning is when Santa arrives. To see the kids light up with excitement makes all of our hard work worth it. - Erica P.
Bonus Gifts for Teachers
We brought out items from previous year’s Santa’s Workshop that didn’t sell and placed them on a counter for teachers to select as a gift from us. Teachers were so excited to be able to select items for their students’ stockings and to decorate their classrooms. There were also some items for teachers to treat themselves. - Marissa H.
Giving Back to a Special Teacher
We hold bingo games throughout the school year, as a fundraiser and a fun family night out. This December our big raffle item was a giant stuffed dog. We raised nearly $150 on the raffle, but what warmed my heart was not one, but several parents and students who said if they win, they would give it to a certain favorite teacher who would love it as a reading buddy in the classroom for her students. - Jenn T.
At the Santa Shop, a little girl was over budget by a lot. I was trying to help her figure out how to reduce/exchange. A grandfather who was there helping his grandson shop overheard and asked how much she was over. When I told him, he said, “I’ll take care of it. Just add it onto my grandson’s gifts.” All of us volunteers were so moved by this gesture. That man showed the true meaning of Christmas, and the adults who witnessed it felt it, too. - Courtney M.
Caring for Kids in Need
For years, our school did an Angel Tree program through our guidance counselor and the PTO. She would find students in need and parents could donate money or adopt an angel-tree child and purchase a full set of clothes plus a toy. I loved helping to organize the bags. We would sort through each child’s bag to make sure every item was purchased, every size matched, and that they had at least one item from their toy wish list. The PTO would then go shopping to exchange items or purchase what was missing. It was so rewarding to know that it benefited a child in the school. We had no idea who these kids were, it was a number system to us, but it was a great feeling to know there would be some happy children at Christmas time. - Ingryd M.
Families Helping Families
This year our PTO partnered with Ronald McDonald Family Room in Edward Hospital. We have collected pop tabs and donations and money all year. During the holidays, we started a giving tree and asked for parents and students to donate items from the family room’s wish list. I am amazed by the generosity of our families. So many other families will benefit from all these donations. I couldn’t be prouder of my school and all their Walker’s Grove Wildcat Spirit. - Jaime P.
Kids Beaming With Pride
My favorite holiday moment is the Christmas Shopping for kids event. The kids get so excited and are so proud to be able to shop for the top people on their list. The school purchases gifts for all ages and sets up individual tables for grandmas, moms, sisters, brothers, grandpas and dads. Each gift is $1.00 and it also includes wrapping and a name tag. Our two P.E. teachers dress up as Elves and Santa joins in the fun too. To see the beaming in their eyes when they walk up to the table to have PTO volunteers wrap up each individual present for them is the best. These kids are so excited and proud that they were able to personally shop for their family members. - Misty C.
Last year we had all students meet in the cafeteria for a Christmas song along with hot chocolate and candy canes. The look in the kids eyes as they sang their hearts out to their favorite Christmas songs was priceless. The PTO purchased 710 cups and enough hot chocolate for all the students as well as the staff. Since this event our PTO has expanded and we now have a full board. I like to think this event helped the parents to see how a kind, fun gesture can change the way a child feels about school. - Erika M.
Smiles, Laughter, Excitement
My favorite holiday moment comes during our annual Winter Wonderland Festival. After weeks of planning and preparation by our PTO and staff, I enjoy just standing back and taking a moment to watch the students, parents, and teachers interacting and enjoying themselves with crafts, raffles, and contests. The smiles on their faces, their laughter, their excitement...it’s what Christmas is all about! - Tammy T.
My favorite holiday moment just happened two days ago. Out PTO was in danger of disbanding. It has been a rough start. We decided to hold an ornament making after-school program. The turnout was amazing. Both days the program was filled with kids; the parents love their ornaments and gift as well. The parents as well as the kids ask if we can do it again next year. It was very nice and heartwarming to see such a big turnout. - Melissa M.
Surprise Cocoa Bar
We love pampering our teachers! We set up a hot cocoa bar for them this week as a surprise! - Renee C.
The Second Grade Show! It is a lot of prep work by our Music Teacher, and parent volunteers come in to help get the kids ready for their performances. Each class gets its own song, costumes and hair and make-up done. The kids talk about it months before the show (“I wonder what song my class will get!”) and older siblings request to attend. I love being able to help out on this day, with the audience packed with family members and the students so proud of their work. Being able to help with costumes and make-up forces me to take a break from the Craziness that IS December, and just enjoy the time. - Cara L.
Parents Night Out
Being able to host a parents night out! We gave our parents four hours in the evening that was kid-free, for a date [or to] wrap presents etc. We fed the kids dinner and did crafts, games, and a movie, and we had a surprise visit from Santa and his Elf! - Hailey R.