LHS WISH Dinner: Spreading More Than Just Presents

Matthew Price, Staff Writer

On the afternoon of Wednesday, Dec. 7, Libertyville High School held its annual WISH dinner, spreading happiness and holiday cheer in the form of presents, food, music and activities for impoverished people in Lake County.

WISH has been an ongoing program at LHS for more than 17 years. The goal of the program is to raise money for families from Lake County who are in poverty and buy them gifts for the holidays. This year, according to Student Activities Director Mrs. Jennifer Uliks, more than 400 people (consisting of 91 total families sponsored by Catholic Charities) were involved in the program.

All of the money raised for WISH came from third-period classes at LHS. Each class chose the size of their WISH family; the family sizes available were small, medium, large, and extra large. Third-period classes raised money through a variety of techniques, such as homemade donut bake sales and locker decorating services, to buy the gifts on their families’ wish lists.

The dinner was more than just families picking up gifts, however. Free food was provided for everyone in the cafeteria, and there was also live Christmas music. In the main gym, there were games with square scooters and basketballs, and in the main lobby, there was an arts and crafts station for the kids. Even Santa Claus made an appearance, taking pictures with the children outside of the cafeteria. Everything was organized by LHS staff and student volunteers.

Volunteers and staff members helped decorate the hallways and cafeteria with Christmas lights and decorations, helping spread a positive and holiday vibe throughout the school.

“I love to see the joy that you bring to the kids,” said senior Emily Baumstark, a WISH leader. “They see their presents and they just light up and it’s so special… it’s a great experience.”