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Alpena’s leadership students give back with gift baskets for Christmas

ALPENA, Mich. – Leadership students at Alpena High school have been using their time to give back this holiday season. The leadership class organizes events such as homecoming and prom. They are decorating and collecting canned goods from class donations throughout the school.

Outside of their charity, students have taken their generosity a step further. The giving tree is a classic spin on “Secret Santa,” and it gives students a chance to both give and receive gifts.

Student Molly Dickinson says, “They tell us what they want, we hand them a little slip of paper and they’ll tell us what they want for the holidays, and we’ll try our best to get that to them but using other students — or teachers — who will take their ornament off the tree and they’ll go buy those gifts for them.”

Students throughout the school also contribute to holiday gift baskets for dozens of families who need extra help this holiday season. Senior Taylor Alexander says that it’s important not only to give back, but to also break a stigma that seems to follow high school students.

“I kind of think high schoolers get a bad rap for being selfish, and that we don’t care about each other,” says Alexander. “The fact that we all pitch in as a school to bring food for our peers that can’t afford it really shows that, hey, we really care about each other even though we may no show it.”