Hope lights up Winter Rage
Ever since 1997, Clackamas High School has hosted the Winter Rage program for local families in need. In the program’s first year, only one family was adopted. Over the years, it has expanded to reach about 280 families and 600 children in the Clackamas area. Leadership and Key Club organized the Winter Rage Holiday Party in the first post-Potampa (CHS’s former key club leader) era, which took place on December 10, 2011. CHS sponsored 150 families.
“Winter Rage can be divided into four sections: businesses, community outreach, school contributions and food. When all the hard work comes together, it all pays off. Not only are families helped on a material level, but also an emotional level,” Jihun Han, ASB President, said.
Winter Rage began with families from different schools in the district creating holiday wish lists. Classrooms and clubs donated money and students volunteered to shop for presents to give to their adopted families. The entire community got involved by dropping off gifts at CHS or leaving donations on their porch to be picked up. Local businesses were also asked for donations to Winter Rage.
“During Rage Week, we raise money in multiple ways by collecting money and donations, having students attend the Applebees Pancake Breakfast, sending hugs and kisses candy packs to other students and selling Winter Rage shirts,” Lisa Ursu, ASB vice-president, said.
Winter Rage kicked off with an assembly the Friday before Rage Week to inform the student body about the event.
“The assembly was great. Some of the newer students got a glimpse of how they could get involved with Winter Rage,” Brian Fora, senior, said.
During Rage Week, each day was assigned a theme and students were asked to bring in specific items, such as food and toys. Money was also raised through hugs and kisses purchased by students throughout the week, Winter Rage shirts sold by Leadership, and the pancake breakfast at the East Campus.
“I am not available on the day of Winter Rage so I try to get involved in other ways. I normally stay after school to help wrap presents for my choir class, so that kids who don’t have the chance for presents can have a great holiday season. Everyone has the chance to get involved,” Jim Rao, senior, said.
“The actual day of Winter Rage is pretty crazy. Holiday music is on in the commons. Teams go out into nearby neighborhoods to pick up donations. Volunteers hurry around, organizing all of the donations and presents around the school commons. Then the families show up to get their bag of gifts, get a food box and pick up whatever items they need. The entire commons is like a giant shopping mall, where everything is free,” Han said.
From eight in the morning until six at night, student volunteers gathered in the commons of CHS to set up for all of the families coming in. Families picked up their wrapped gifts and filled plastic bags with donated items.