School helps Santa with toy drive for kids in need

School received well over 150 donations of toys

Charitable causes in local communities are a big reason why the holiday season is so special. The act of giving to those who might be less fortunate was something Woodward Middle School took part in last week through its toy drive.

Organized by the school’s Builders Club, the idea came from a student and a Kiwanis liaison who helped make it a reality. The club has been a fixture at the school throughout the years with its mission being to promote leadership through community service. Other noteworthy projects by the Builders Club include UNICEF, clothing drives, food drives and no-sew fleece blankets for vet clinics, club advisor and WMS teacher Carrie Newman said.

“This is a new drive for us,” WMS principal Sebastian Ziz said. “Just to see kids step up because they knew it was the charitable, kind thing to do, that’s what gives me a lot of pride in the school. We have kids who are doing this not because of extrinsic motivation, they’re doing it because their hearts are in it.”

Although charitable causes are important every year, Ziz said there was extra meaning this year given how difficult it has been for so many due to COVID-19.

“I think there’s a recognition that a lot of families are struggling right now,” he said. “The idea of having a toy drive was to put a little light back into kids lives …during the pandemic. The community on Bainbridge Island is a fortunate community. I think the kids recognize that those who have can share with those who don’t.”

Donated toys consisted of sporting goods, games, art supplies, small toys and more, all of which will go toward toddlers and teens in need. The gifts had to be new and in its original packaging without being wrapped.

Newman said the Builders Club received over 150 items.

“The kids in Builders Club just really wanted to acknowledge what a difficult year 2020 had been for so many families and hoped that our school community would pitch in to brighten the holidays for families who might not otherwise be able to provide gifts for their children,” she said.

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