You are here

District students, staff create, receive holiday largesse

Gingerbread Houses
Faris students make gingerbread houses

During November and December, district schools and community groups ramp up efforts to help families in Hutchinson and beyond during the Christmas season. This year, the district decided to sample what our schools are doing, and what community groups are doing for our families.

Hutchinson High School

HHS Cafeteria

The cafeteria staff at Hutchinson High School organized the Battle of the Classes for 2017 to gather food for students in need.

Items collected were canned fruit, canned vegetables, granola bars, tuna, and macaroni and cheese. Students brought in 79 items with the juniors being the winning class. The were able to get doughnuts and coffee at breakfast on Friday.

HHS Salthawk Angel Project

Salthawk Community Support is the sponsor for Salthawk Angel Project. HHS has 272 students sponsored by the community this year. Staff interviews each student for mostly basic need items. Salthawk Support had its first unwrapping event for Monday, Dec. 11.

Staff had hoped to get most of the gifts out that day but will continue getting them out throughout the week. Students can open their gifts that day or they can take them home to open. About 20 community volunteers helped with the event.

HHS Empty Bowls

The Empty Bowls fundraiser in November raised enough money to provide 40 families with a Christmas dinner from Dillons.

Hutchinson Career and Technical Education Academy

SkillsUSA welding students sponsored two students for the Salthawk Angel Project.

Medical Science students played bingo in December with residents at Wesley Towers Assisted Living.

Certified nurse’s aide students deliver Meals on Wheels during the holiday season as well as throughout the school year.

Hutchinson Middle School

HMS-8 Teen Christmas

Students and staff at HMS-8 have been raising funds to buy clothes and other gifts for middle school students and their siblings. There are 58 students who will be “gifted” this year, which includes two babies who belong to older siblings.

Some of the items purchased or donated include:

  • Shirts: 228
  • Pants: 155
  • Shoes: 35 pairs
  • Blankets/comforters: 35
  • Jackets/hoodies: 69 plus 2 coats, hats, gloves
  • Pajamas sets: 26
  • Socks: 9 packs
  • Underwear: 2 packs
  • Bikes: 2
  • Lego sets: 5 plus 4 Lego Ideas books
  • Tons of art supplies, toys, jewelry, backpacks (one full of supplies), makeup, hair ties, viola music, coloring books, purses, earbuds, jewelry boxes, a robe and beef jerky.

HMS-7 and HMS-8

The schools have several families who have been adopted by First Presbyterian Church.

The church provides gifts, including clothing items, for family members and a gift card to Dillons for groceries.

HMS-7 and 8 Cafeterias

The cafeterias on both campuses of Hutchinson Middle School have sponsored a canned food drive.


Mary Rains’ honors English language arts class is having a book and toy drive that ends next Tuesday. These books and toys will be given to some of the elementary schools.

Elementary Schools

Hutchinson Magnet School at Allen

HMS at Allen’s business partner, YMCA, has adopted several students from the school. Additionally, the school has a few private donors adopt families and students, and the Hutchinson Fraternal Order of Police has adopted several families for Shop with a Cop.

Avenue A

Avenue A is taking students to sing at four of our local long term care facilities.

On Dec. 15 students will sing at Mennonite Friendship Manor, Wesley Towers, Good Samaritan Facility and Diversacare. The students have made Santa hats to wear and made wonderful Christmas cards to give to the residence.


Sun Valley Trucking is providing holiday groceries/meals to 10 families at Faris this year.

Pizza Ranch is providing pizzas each to 12 families. 

One of the local PEO chapters has donated coats, gloves, hats, mittens and underwear to kids in need.

Staff at Faris have adopted a family and provided food.

Additionally, three special education staff members from Faris bought a week's worth of groceries for a family when a mother contacted one of them and said she would not be able to feed her family until a Friday when her benefits card would be recharged.


Several Graber families have participated in Shop with a Cop. Other families have been served by the Graber clothing store.


Students and staff at Lincoln Elementary School are having a Decorate the Tree and Food Drive through Monday. Anyone in the school can bring canned food or quarters to donate to the Reno County Food Bank. Lincoln Leaders will deliver the gifts to the Food Bank prior to Christmas break.

Additionally, the Lincoln Nutrition Services staff have asked students to write their Santa list, and they put them in a mailbox by the cafeteria. The Nutrition Services staff then goes through the letters and picks students on the list and will have a Santa dress up and take some gifts to the students’ homes houses. Staff members have put their money together and are trying to reach as many students as they can.


For the third year in a row, Sun Valley Trucking will provide food for 10 McCandless families at Christmas. They deliver the food directly to their homes.

Then for a second year, First Nazarene of Hutchinson provides a box of food to every family from McCandless. The amount of food is estimated to last a family approximately two weeks. If the family does not want the package, they are encouraged to "pay it forward" and give it to someone who might need it. McCandless teachers and First Nazarene Church members deliver the boxes to McCandless families.


Individuals and groups are “adopting” some Morgan families for the holidays with gifts and other special items.

Morgan is partnering with Park Place Christian Church and the Salvation Army in an effort to collect and distribute food to Morgan families during the holiday break. 

Additionally, Morgan students, faculty and families have collaborated to “adopt” other students/families in need over the holidays. Once adopted, the students/families are provided with gifts and household necessities


Several Wiley families have been adopted by community members while staff members have adopted other families.

Other Facilities/Programs

Special Education

The special education team at the Educational Services Center made cloth gift bags from Christmas fabric for the learners attending the Transitional Learning Center and filled them with gloves, personal items such as toothbrushes, little soaps, Christmas pencils, small toys, etc. These will be handed out during Christmas caroling by the students.

A member of the special education team is making dresses for orphans in Guatemala – 22 dresses so far and probably 40 by the time the project is completed. Additionally, the team member is sewing baby blankets to take along to the mountain villages as "baby rescues" are carried out for critically ill infants.

A social worker also will be volunteering at the animal shelter over Christmas break.

Ad Center

Angel Tree for Adopted Family

The Administration Center has supported a family in need for the past five years. This year, staff are supporting another family. The family has five children.

Staff will get gifts for the family and those will be taken to the family after Dec. 18.