While Midlothian High School’s DECA club is typically recognized for its large membership of successful business leaders, it is also famous for its yearly generosity with the Angel Tree. Angel Tree, a program conducted by the Salvation Army and NBC12, successfully provides an amazing Christmas to over 5,000 children and 3,000 families across Central Virginia during the holiday season. This year, DECA experienced a tremendous amount of success with its Angel Tree project, which led to the possibility of a Christmas miracle for two families with children, where miracles may seem scarce.
Sarah Arezo, a DECA officer, picked up two angels, one 8 year-old girl and one 7 year-old boy, from Chesterfield Towne Center. DECA sponsor, Mrs. Carolyn Manheim, went around to all her classes and asked for donations to give these two children the perfect holiday. Her students donated a total of $310 for the children’s Christmas, a very impressive number for high school students to amass by themselves.
In addition to all the generous donations, Elyas Aldughaish, Mohammed Maqsher, and Ahmad Naser delivered the greatest Christmas surprise of all. Together, they went shopping for the two children, purchasing the biggest gifts for both kids with their own money. They bought a bike and a helmet for the boy, a princess-themed comforter for the girl, and socks for both angels. Mrs. Manheim felt shocked when they came to her classroom the next morning with the gifts, as they never mentioned to her their plans to give so much to Angel Tree. She exclaims that she felt “very touched” that her students showed such kindness and that they thought to go and select and purchase the gifts for the kids in their own free time. Of the motivation for his generosity, Aldughaish shares, “I have been in a situation where I wanted to buy something and couldn’t afford it, so I wanted to help these kids.”
The Angel Tree is a great opportunity to give back, and contributing shows kindness during the holiday season.