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The Tomahawk Leader is a state and national prize-winning weekly newspaper serving the scenic Northwoods area in and around Tomahawk, WI.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2005 10:24 pm 
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THS scholars spread cheer to area children, families

By Megan Hussong
Tomahawk High School National Honor Society Reporter

There is something about hearing holiday songs that brings out the Christmas spirit in everyone. Suddenly, the snow that blankets the ground is pretty instead of dull; strands of lights seem to twinkle brighter; even wrapping presents is fun.

Unfortunately, stress may also accompany these feelings as we rush to finish shopping or prepare for a house full of company. We become so wrapped up in things to do, we forget about the meaning of the actual holiday. I was reminded of this last Thursday night when five National Honor Society members and I lent a hand at the annual Kinship Christmas banquet at the Comfort Inn. For those unfamiliar with the program, Kinship pairs a child in need with an adult mentor. These "big friends" mingled with kids all evening as they ate pizza, made snowflake ornaments, swam, and decorated sugar cookies.

I should explain that each member of NHS is expected to record hours of various community services throughout the year. Although I thought it would be fun to help at the banquet, I must admit I was a little more concerned about receiving the hours to meet the quota. That all changed, however, with a visit from Santa. The room quickly echoed with excited voices and squeals as kids tore open their presents and sat on Santa's lap for a picture.

I was humbled as I looked around the room at the adults kneeling by the kids, cameras in hand. I realized that they weren't getting paid for this or doing it because they feel they have to. Each was not only giving up their own time for this banquet, but volunteering a few hours every week amidst busy schedules because they truly care about the life of a child. The meaning of the night can be summed up by a little girl receiving a CD player. "I dreamed of getting this last night - I dreamed of it, and my dream really came true!" The smile on her face was priceless.

This time of year is bound to be hectic, and it always will be. Even so, the meaning of Christmas cannot be found through counting service hours or having the perfect decorations. It is found in the people willing to give time to help others like the adults in the Kinship program.

Whether it is volunteering a few hours or something as simple as being patient in the infinite holiday shopping lines, my encouragement to you is to stop and remember the spirit of the season. Merry Christmas from NHS!


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