Hyde School students, faculty, and staffed joined 22 local families to celebrate the season of giving and thankfulness when the 20th annual Salvation Army Christmas Party on Saturday, December 13 was unwrapped. Excited kids, happy parents, and seasonally attired Hyde student-hosts made their way to the tables decorated with balloons, candy and tinsel at the start of the festivities.
Hillary Kidwell, a Hyde faculty member who coordinated the event, said, “I look forward to this celebration because it allows our students a chance to feel the sense of giving and connection that makes this season so special. Whether they act as hosts to a family, dress up as elves in silly costumes, or simply volunteer time to purchase and wrap gifts—all of them will be touched by the spirit of giving this year.”
The annual event was started in 1994 by former Hyde faculty member Quynn Taylor. Previously, students had participated in a “Secret Santa.” Taylor felt that the spirit of the event had been lost, and proposed that students donate their time and money to something that would better reflect the spirit of the season. Taylor said, “There is a need for our community to give back to the community outside of ours and create an opportunity for the kids to be of service to others.”
This year’s festivities included an arts and craft activity, a full Christmas dinner prepared by the Hyde dining staff, and the arrival of Santa on a fire truck loaded with personalized gifts for each of the fifty children attending! “The party was a brilliant success, and an important reminder to our school that giving to others pays great rewards!” said Kidwell.