PH Campuses Share Holiday Spirit

‘Tis the season for giving, and Preston Hollow schools are in the spirit.

During the busy holiday season, students are preoccupied with final exams, end-of-term performances, and the lure of winter break. But many local students were also focused on making sure others got something the holidays.

From donating to cancer research to giving toys and gifts to feeding the hungry, Preston Hollow students sprinkled a little winter cheer throughout Dallas.

Episcopal School of Dallas

ESD middle school choir members raised almost $1,000 for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital at a bake sale Dec. 2, fulfilling a promise made to an English composer.

At their caroling day Dec. 6, they sang a new Christmas song, “Sleep, My Jesu.” The composer, Jaime Hall, offered a free download of the carol to any choir willing make a donation to the English cancer research foundation Macmillan.

(Photo courtesy of ESD)
(Photo courtesy of ESD)

Middle school choir director Susan Wiles got approval from Hall to make a donation to an American cancer research foundation instead.

Students were enthusiastic about organizing a bake sale to raise the money.

“The students really ran this, from start to finish, and I couldn’t have been more proud,” Wiles said.

The choristers, several of whom have personal experience with the organization, chose to donate to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital’s cancer research department. They presented the check Dec. 12.

The Hockaday School

Hockaday students were busy thinking about less fortunate children too.

They collected 300 presents at their gift drive, to be distributed to several of the school’s partners.

“We work with organizations that aren’t necessarily on other people’s radars,” organizer Laura Day said.

Most of the organizations are children-based charities. Seniors also delivered gifts from Angel Tree to elderly clients from Meals on Wheels.

(Photo courtesy of The Hockaday School)
(Photo courtesy of The Hockaday School)

Other students delivered 60 gifts to Communities Foundation of Texas, which supports children under child protective services.

“Our students know a lot of the children that we’re able to provide the gifts for,” Day said. “They’re able to know their stories and also make a dream for them come true during the holiday season that might not have otherwise happened, and that’s amazing.”

Ursuline Academy

Ursuline also partnered with Angel Tree, providing toys and blankets, as well as essential household items like pots and pans, vacuums, and microwaves to several local charities.

(Photo courtesy of Ursuline Academy)
(Photo courtesy of Ursuline Academy)

Ursuline’s gift drive brought Christmas cheer to the Association for Independent Living, AIDS Services of Dallas, Community Partners of Dallas, and Catholic Charities of Dallas.

“The spirit of Serviam [Ursuline’s motto meaning I Will Serve] resides within our hearts,” service coordinator Pam Mahaney said, especially “when shared during events such as the Angel Tree Gift Drive. We brightened the holidays for so many.”

St. Mark’s School of Texas

St. Mark’s students headed out Dec. 8 for their annual Austin Street Center Dinner, which saw more than two dozen Marksmen and Hockadaisies distribute hot meals to the homeless. The dinner is the culmination of the Junior Class’s McDonald’s Week fundraiser. Last month, students collected more than $10,000 for the center.

The St. Mark’s Blues Club contributed too, providing a holiday soundtrack for the meal.

Junior David Bailey, who co-chaired the event, said, “when we hand out food and see the people whose lives are directly impacted by our work, it feels amazing.”

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