A group of Redmond High students are making the holidays a little brighter for some smaller children in need.

The high school’s leadership class assembled a giving tree in the school’s commons area and made 15 ornaments, each with a number. From Dec. 1-16, other students, teachers and staff members were able to take an ornament and exchange it for the name of a gift costing less than $10.

The leadership students wrapped the gifts and planned to take them to John Tuck Elementary School for students who might not get many other gifts.

“I used to go to John Tuck, I know a lot of kids who go there,” said senior Ashley Joseph. “It’s nice giving back to them.”

The students estimate they spend about a week of class time on the project.

The leadership class has sponsored the toy drive for at least 20 years, teacher Trevor Tusow said.

“Part of the job of leadership is to be the link between the student body, staff and the community,” he said. “It’s a chance to have a positive impact on the community and help out another school.”

The identity of the students who receive the gifts, which this year included several board games, is confidential.

“They don’t get to see the benefit of it, but they know somebody is going to have a better holiday, and that means a lot to our kids,” said Tusow, who is in his third year with the leadership class.

The toy drive is one of three charity events the leadership class is involved with. The class’s Mr. and Miss RHS contest raised $19,000 in the spring for the St. Charles neonatal intensive care unit, though the group is now considering a new beneficiary, and Project Pink raised $2,000 this fall to fight breast cancer. The students sell pink items like shirts and hats for that event.

— Reporter: 541-548-2186,

gfolsom@redmondspokesman.com

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