Mount Sinai High School’s SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) and Holiday Magic combined once again to spread holiday cheer this season.
On Dec. 5, with Santa lists in hand and over $6,500 in cash from Holiday Magic, the SADD students descended on Walmart and the Smithaven Mall in search of the requested gifts. SADD’s goal was to show these children that the community does care, which in the future will hopefully prevent them from making “destructive decisions.”
“It’s a great feeling knowing that you are doing something good for your community and having fun at the same time," said 11th-grader Alexa Signorile. "It was a great experience.“
Mount Sinai High School also once again opened its doors to host a holiday dinner for the children shopped for and their families. The dinner, which took place on Dec. 11, fed over 200 people in a holiday decorated cafeteria at the high school.
SADD members, teachers and administrators, along with Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker, members of the Board of Education and Superintendent Enrico Crocetti spent the evening playing with children, serving and busing the dinner, and helping Santa, according to SADD advisor John Wilson.
“It’s an honor to help Holiday Magic and these children," Wilson said along with fellow advisor John McHugh. "An event like this allows our SADD students to learn compassion first hand. This is something you can’t really teach in a classroom. When a student is handed a list from a seven year old asking for a warm coat and socks, the meaning of the holiday season takes on a new definition. We are already looking forward to next year.”
Also at the dinner, SADD presented Holiday Magic with a check for $5,000 from the proceeds of the 2012 Turkey Trot. Additionally, a $1,500 check from MSG Varsity’s Charity Champions was presented to SADD, making Mount Sinai’s total donation to Holiday Magic an amazing $6,500. As a result, SADD was able to fully cover the cost of the gifts from the shopping trip, which will allow Holiday Magic to service another group of children just before the holidays.
“The whole program of Holiday Magic is touching," said 12th grader Mason Sofia. "It's a moving experience to give to kids that are less fortunate.”
Holiday Magic, headed by Charlie “Santa” Russo, is a non- profit organization that dedicates itself to making the holidays special for less fortunate children and their families. If you would like to donate to Holiday Magic, please visit www.holidaymagicli.org.