LHS Students Spread Holiday Cheer


Photo courtesy to Nida Ahmad

Mrs. Amaan’s 3rd period class finishes fundraising, purchasing gifts, and wrapping their presents.

Manal Ahmed, Staff Writer

When the popular holiday song lyrics, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” play, most people quickly think of Christmas presents and holiday lights; however, when LHS students hear these lyrics, they immediately think of the WISH program that has been ongoing for years.

The WISH program at Libertyville High School began in 2001 through a program called “First Class.” “First Class” is a program that is geared towards helping underprivileged families around a distinct area. Interact, a club that focuses on giving back to the community through volunteer efforts, was a big part in starting the WISH program, which was first called “Adopt-a-Family.”

This program was started to help out families in poverty and to make their holiday season a little bit brighter. Students at LHS pick a small, medium, or large family within their third-period class and fundraise throughout the holiday season to buy them Christmas presents. They also elect students in their class to be a WISH coordinators and take charge over planning fundraisers and shopping for gifts.

Students work exceptionally hard each year to buy presents for their family. The opportunities to fundraise are endless and  every year, new fundraising ideas are introduced. Whether it’s throwing pies at teachers or having bake sales, LHS students never fail to raise money for their WISH families.

“The bake sale remains to be one of the most popular things to do to fundraise. Certainly getting donations from corporations and the community is a great way to start your project as well,” Student Activities Director Jennifer Uliks stated.

Certain WISH leaders take charge and come up with unique ways to fundraise, while others would prefer to just have  multiple bake sales to raise money.

“Some grandiose ideas were too complicated for my class. Also, different kinds of baked goods weren’t popular and raffles were not popular as well because students want instant gratification,” senior Mady Basich said.

All WISH leaders have different ideas and thoughts when thinking of fundraisers. However, almost all still find a way to efficiently raise money for their family.

“To fundraise, we had a bake sale inside our classroom for numerous days and outside of the cafeteria. We had people in our class split into groups and each group was assigned certain gifts to raise money for and purchase,” sophomore Wendy Bornhoeft stated.

Fundraising can be an extremely difficult task. According to Mrs. Uliks, in many instances, students spend more money setting up and purchasing things for a fundraiser than the amount of money they actually make as a result of the fundraiser.

“I think anytime you can provide a service, and do something for a donation, that’s going to be a really nice way to earn money because you’re not really risking any money. There have been classes that have done childcare, so the kids are really just donating their time and getting a donation,” Mrs. Uliks stated.

LHS students also get a lot of out this program. Whether it’s the satisfaction of helping others, or  the improvement of leadership skills, students always gain something from participating in the WISH program.

“Whether a leader or a participant in the class, [students]  have to work together to communicate to family, friends, and the community about their project. They have to plan and organize. They have to facilitate, organize, and become leaders. There are so many skills these kids are working on and they don’t even realize it,” Mrs. Uliks declared.

Every year students are speechless by how far they have come and how much they have done to make a family’s Christmas a lot more jolly than usual.

“The most rewarding part would have to be when we saw the completed project, like when we had finally wrapped all of our gifts and when we got to see all that we have accomplished and just to finally realize how much this is affecting the people who cannot provide for themselves,” Bornhoeft expressed.