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Lincoln-Way West High School Students Lend a Helping Hand

Lincoln-Way West High School students helped those in need.

Lincoln-way West students Ian McCrath, Zach Speaker, Dan Brokop and Rachel Luckett help organize gifts for the Lincoln-Way West Holiday Sharing Project, organized by Christine Ziegenfuss, social worker at  West. Credit: Submitted photo
Lincoln-way West students Ian McCrath, Zach Speaker, Dan Brokop and Rachel Luckett help organize gifts for the Lincoln-Way West Holiday Sharing Project, organized by Christine Ziegenfuss, social worker at West. Credit: Submitted photo

From Lincoln-Way High School District:

Lincoln-Way West students and staff participated in the holiday spirit to provide help to 15 New Lenox area families for this holiday season.

“This is the fifth year of putting on a Holiday Sharing program at Lincoln-Way West," said school social worker Christine Ziegenfuss. "Our classes, departments, athletic teams, clubs and individuals worked very hard to contribute more than $7,000 worth of gifts to 15 New Lenox families.”

Students and staff purchased gifts such as winter jackets, gloves, hats, gas and grocery cards, clothing, pots and pans, and toys for all ages, even senior citizens.

“I want to thank Ian McGrath, Zach Speaker, Dan Brokop and Rachel Luckett, four seniors, that helped organize and get the gifts ready for pick-up,” Ziegenfuss said.

“Each group went above and beyond to help these families. Lincoln-Way West has made a big difference to New Lenox area families this year,” she said.

“The tremendous support from our students and staff to help people suffering from the downturn of the economy shows that they are more than willing to help those less fortunate than themselves,” said Principal Monica Schmitt.

The groups are matched with a family to sponsor. They then fulfill the family’s wish list in whatever way they can. Some groups collect money and then one person goes out and buys the gifts, but most groups have individuals sign up for specific gifts that they then go out and buy and bring in to school, Ziegenfuss said.

“To see the enthusiasm of my students as they set a goal to raise money for the Holiday Sharing program was gratifying," said Lynn Hnetovsky. "But to see them raise more than double the amount of their goal was truly inspirational. I feel honored to have them in my classes.”

The nineteen groups and individuals from Lincoln-Way West who got involved and jumped in to help area families are: Beth Biesen and Peer Helpers; Chuck Welke and Family; The Main Office Staff; Dana Romano and Rotary Interact Club; Debbi Rossi and Orange Crush; English Department;  Lynn Hnetkovsky LWW classes; Lynn Hnetkovsky LWE classes; PPS department; Ryan McCallister’s classes; Sandy Chellios and Family; Sara Pavlik’s classes; Sara Pavlik and Key Club; Special Services Department; Tom Venutolo & Chorale; Amanda Rybicki’s classes; Sarah Brady’s classes; Amy Lidy’s classes; and the World Language classes.

“The wish lists have all sorts of items on them," Ziegenfuss said. "I would say this year the most frequently listed items were winter jackets, gloves and hats, gas or grocery cards."

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