Various programs offer assistance for area families

As the holidays roll around, there are many opportunities for students to give back to the community, such as participating in the Student Council sponsored food drive, One Hope United and the holiday help program through the attendance office.
North is also participating in a coupon drive.
“This year, the coupon drive covers the needs for the rest of the year like cribs and counseling in addition with the holiday gifts,” said Student Council sponsor Rose Anderson.
One Hope United is a program that helps train foster parents, place kids in families and provide help for families in need.
“The volunteers are always so excited. The best part is walking in and seeing all the other gifts knowing you are making a difference,” Anderson said.
One Hope United isn’t the only thing that makes a difference this season, the food drive also affects the community. It is run by students in Public Service Practicum (PSP).
They drop paper bags in the neighborhoods that feed into Grayslake North, and families have about a week to place items in the bags.
“I think what’s amazing is the realization that even the smaller actions that the students are doing can actually have a profound impact on the community,” said PSP teacher Roxanne Bristow.
PSP is able to donate food to pantries in the surrounding area because of donations, making a difference in the community.
“The best part is once we collect the food, we receive thousands of pounds of food. There are so many pieces, and the best part is seeing it all come together,” Anderson said.
Another way GNHS gives back is through the holiday help program, a program that helps Grayslake North’s very own students that are in struggling families.
“Our kids helping the other kids is great because it gives students a chance to help their peers,” said sponsor Evelyn Amelio.
The holiday help program helps support families around the holidays.
“We have families that have no winter blankets and other necessities. For needy families, the holidays are very stressful. With our program, we hope to alleviate some of that,” Amelio said.
With the increasing number of families in need, the holiday help program needs many donations.
Through One Hope United, the food drive and the holiday help program, students and staff seek to better the community and themselves.