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Sycamore Middle school students wrap gifts for fundraiser benefiting students in Kenya

December 19, 2018

SYCAMORE – Justin Forsberg of Sycamore said he had only wrapped two holiday presents so far within the first half hour of a fundraiser on Tuesday afternoon, but he was looking forward to continue wrapping presents for a good cause.

The 12-year-old Sycamore Middle School student said he is part of the school’s builders club and student council and that’s how he heard about the event. He said it’s kind of sad there are students in the world that don’t have the things they need for school, but he likes that he, along with about 50 of his fellow students from various school clubs, are helping people by taking part in the event.

“I like the feeling of giving,” Justin said.

“I can’t really see their faces, but I like seeing the faces of people when I give to them when they’re less fortunate than us.”

Sycamore Middle School students and staff wrapped presents to raise monetary donations on Tuesday at Sycamore Middle School, 150 Maplewood Drive. The fundraiser was meant to help Teule Kenya, which is a Christian nonprofit organization that helps children who are abandoned, orphaned, abused or neglected to be placed in a safe and secure home.

Megan Gallagly, a seventh-grade language arts teacher at Sycamore Middle School and one of the event organizers, said one child gets a new school uniform for every $20 donated through the event. She said the event also ties in with seventh-grade curriculum, where students read a novel set in Sudan and Kenya.

“So it’s a natural bridge,” Gallagly said.

Gallagly said the idea to wrap holiday presents to raise money came from a brainstorming session with some of her other colleagues at the middle school a few years ago after one teacher was talking about how many presents still needed to be wrapped at their house. She said students and staff raised about $520 through last year’s event.

Marc Reid, a DeKalb resident and a retired sixth-grade special education teacher at Sycamore Middle School, said he was just about to wrap his holiday gifts when he saw information about the fundraiser at the school where he taught for 25 years. He said he enjoyed the opportunity to come back and visit with some of his former colleagues, along with watching the good energy among the students.

“I saw a chance to come back and visit,” Reid said. “And it’s a worthy cause and the kids are having fun – that’s what it’s all about.”

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