Christmas: The season of giving back


Every year around the holidays, Webb gives back to the community as a way of celebrating the winter season. The last full week before winter break, the WSC Prefects, VWS Dorm Heads and Day Student Prefects hold a toy drive to ask Webbies to donate anything they can as part of giving back. Each morning during this past week, dorm councilors and prefects stood out by the loop, wearing elf costumes and a Santa suit as day students pulled up to come to school.

Students and parents brought a variety of toys, gifts,and even donated money to help the cause. Day Student Prefects sat outside the Dining Hall as students congregated around the table to ask for donations from their student accounts.

For students who wanted to help in a more personal way, a Christmas tree was set up in the Dining Hall where tags were placed around the tree. Each tag had a name of a child, how old they were, and what they wanted for Christmas. Throughout the week, boarders and day students went to toy stores and other shops to purchase these toys for the children who sometimes have a hard time during this time of year.

Coming from a school like Webb, we are always looking for ways to help our community which is why Javier Valera, the Dorm Council, and the Prefects have continued to do this for years. Andrew Tarakji (‘18) said, “I think it’s really great that we have decided to help out. I can’t imagine how hard it is for some of these kids, so I think giving them presents for the holidays will help brighten their spirits.”

The money that is collected goes towards purchasing specific items that are necessary for some children. Once everything is bought and packed, it is sent out to the kids affiliated with these local organizations. At Webb, most of us do not have to worry about this time of year because we are fortunate enough to feel nothing but joy and cheer as Winter Break approaches. Brooke Fakhoury (‘19) shares, “I am really appreciative of what I have, as I think we all are, but I think it’s a positive way to help children that aren’t much different from us.”   

The last Sunday before break, Webb has a small holiday party that starts after check in. However, before the party begins, different boys dorms walk the campus and go to all the girls’ dorm to spread holiday cheer. They sing a multitude of different Christmas songs and some dorms in the past, have even included a small semi-choreographed dance to go along with the carols.

After the boys finish serenading the girls, everyone heads up to Ruddick to enjoy the holiday party put on by Valera and his crew. During the party, Webbies are able to see exactly how much they were able to generously contribute as they walk into the Ruddick Room because the toys remain on display before they are all sent out for the children to receive. As kids walk around listening to Christmas music, enjoying snacks provided by the Dining Hall, they all eventually make their way inside to listen to the Holiday Poem.

 The Holiday Poem is one that is written by a different faculty member every year and it highlights many different events that have happened throughout the school year thus far. However, there is usually a twist within the poem, where couples can be called out, students are joked with, and teachers are picked on. This year, Michael Szanyi (insert title here) was asked to write the poem and he accepted saying, “I am excited to bring some laughter and joy to the community, to call out some folks and situations in good spirit, and to have us join together as a community and remember the true spirit of the holiday season.”

For many returning students, this part of the Holiday Party is always the most fun, but for new students they excitedly don’t know what to expect. Max Fargo (‘21) said, “I can’t wait to hear what they are going to say in the poem this year. I heard that it’s supposed to be really funny and savage so I’m excited.”

As the holidays approach quickly, students and faculty take this time to reflect on everything they have as they give back to the community. The toys are sent, the holiday party comes to a close and students head off to break to enjoy the end of first semester.