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Niwot High works with 'rivals' to give kids a Christmas


January 22, 2020

Courtesy Photo

Three rival high schools came together this past holiday season to bring Christmas to their community. Representatives from Niwot, Longmont, and Silver Creek High Schools met to start a collaborative community project that was modeled after the Marine Corps' Toys for Tots program.

NHS typically runs a food drive during the holidays, but it hasn't reached the level of impact that it was intended to. Needing a new idea, the student council revamped an old concept. Niwot Student Council's Ben Goff was at the center of this fundraiser's creation.

His inspiration came from his fourth-grade toy drive at Niwot Elementary School. While the drive was successful, Goff imagined bringing their efforts to a larger platform. He and representatives from Longmont and Silver Creek considered ways in which they could make their community better, so they moved forward on a collaborative toy drive. They decided to make it a friendly competition that would motivate students of each school to participate.

The toy drive lasted around a week and a half, ending before students left for winter break. Since it was the first time NHS had done a drive like this, many aspects were based on trial and error. Its creators went in with low expectations for the project's first year. Fifty toys would be counted as a success and would allow the project to catch on in preparation for the following year.

When the project came was finished, the students were surprised to find that their initial estimate was vastly different from reality. Niwot alone brought in 105 toys, and when the three schools compiled their donations they had just over 300 toys.

The success of the toy drive was so well received that its creators are already planning future versions. It has the potential to go from district-wide to state-wide as the project gains momentum. Without the collaboration of Niwot, Longmont, and Silver Creek the drive would not have been as successful as it was.

Goff said that what is most important is that, "In the end, we did more together than we could do alone." He hopes this project's success will launch future collaborations between the three schools.

This project wasn't meant for the students of Niwot, but to benefit the community at large. Members involved think it is important to give back to the people that have done so much for the benefit and growth of Niwot High School. Without the dedication of those in charge of this project, it wouldn't have been nearly as successful.

Who won the toy drive race in the end? The winner was not publicly announced, and Goff confirmed that no school will be crowned the champion. While the effort began as an objective to foster friendly school rivalries, its intent goes far beyond competition.

Even though the final tally will remain a mystery, the real victory is in the number of kids that were given a Christmas through this project. Nothing under the tree is bigger or brighter than the joy these kids felt this Christmas.


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