Families At White Center Heights Elementary Get Lots Of Holiday Help

Staff at White Center Heights Elementary, community groups, and businesses are rallying around White Center children and families with an outpouring of holiday assistance.

White Center Heights staff and friends purchased over 165 gifts of clothing and other items for students. In addition, staff is coordinating contributions from the community:

  • Arryve, a Redmond-based management consulting firm, provided clothes and gifts for 75 children and donated 125 school sweatshirts.
  • Fauntleroy Church contributed 50 school sweatshirts.
  • World Vision donated toys, balls, games, and gift certificates to be given as holiday gifts.
  • The Rotary Club of Burien/White Center gave coats, mittens, and scarves to 43 students.
  • Students at Highline’s CHOICE Academy donated gifts and nearly 2,000 cans of food.
  • A local business provided gifts and clothes for 20 students.

Families are hit especially hard this year due to current economic conditions. “I have spoken with several families confronted with the choice to pay their utility bills or pay their rent,” says Rob Frishholz, the school’s wellness coordinator. “These families do not have a clothing budget, and with the early burst of cold weather, they need warm clothing.”

Frishholz tells about a girl who came to school wearing two left shoes of different sizes. “I thought she made a mistake the first day. It turns out that’s all she had to wear.” School staff quickly replaced the thin canvas misfit shoes with new shoes and socks.

The families of 240 students responded to the offer of holiday assistance this year.  Parents provided clothing and shoe sizes. The community stepped up to meet the increased need. School staff gathered last Saturday to shop for gifts, then wrap and tag them for each family.

Families are coming to school Monday (Dec. 19) and Tuesday (Dec. 20) to pick up the gifts. School sweatshirts are being distributed to students before they are dismissed for winter break Tuesday afternoon.

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