Thomas Jefferson

High School | Home of the Spartans

Adopting a Policy of Joy

Posted 12/12/2017 by Baxter Stein

photo by Kira auf der Heide

DECA brings the school together to help families in need this holiday season.

With the winter season ramping up, the holidays and winter break are rapidly approaching. As a result, the Adopt-A-Family drive has begun again, giving people the opportunity to sponsor TJ families in need of assistance. Sponsors provide gifts to the families involved in order to make the holidays a joyous experience for everyone, regardless of finances.

This drive has been a tradition at TJ since 2002, when DECA teacher Matt Nicolo requested that the program be put into action. Now, DECA runs the program and assists in the distribution and organization of the drive. Nicolo has a lot of history with the drive, as he participated in it when he was a kid. “I’ve grown up with this kind of program in my family, and I really just want to carry it forward and hopefully create something that people will do for a long time at TJ,” said Nicolo. Thanks to his commitment to the program, families have been assisted every winter for nearly 16 years. DECA officer Vasi Reiva is particularly passionate about the importance of the project, saying, “Adopt-A-Family is how we give back to our community. The holidays are a special time of year and we want to make it as special for others as it is for us..” With DECA’s help and the passion of its officers, many of these families can have a more happy and complete holiday season.

From Spartan families to TJ faculty, and even to classes or organizations such as the TJ Journal newspaper staff, many people chip in to help. It’s a testament to the spirit of the school, and the kindness and empathy that we have in our hearts. It’s of the utmost importance that we stand together as a community, because every Spartan is an important part of our family no matter who they are or what their background entails. Nicolo expresses how important this event is, saying, “We want to make sure that we look at all of our TJ family members, and realize that it’s not always a happy time for some of them.” Our Spartan family should be our top priority, so anything we do together to help each other is vital to the spirit of our school and the wellbeing of those around us.

The last day to donate is on Monday, December 18th. The sign-ups can be found here. With so much school spirit and holiday cheer around, it’s important to make sure everyone can participate in the joy that the holidays bring.