By: Jesse Boxenhorn
Half Hollow Hills High School East students took a trip on December 19 to the James E. Allen Elementary and Junior/Senior High Schools to put on a festive and fun holiday show. Both of the James E. Allen schools serve young people who were born with any of a number of developmental disabilities. Despite these disabilities, the students are always excited for this annual event where they get to interact with the HSE students by singing and dancing along to the music. The show consists of several different acts put on by the various clubs and performance groups from High School East. This includes the Jazz Band, the Dixettes, the Cheerleaders, the Step Team, and the Chorus. All of the acts combined make the children smile from ear to ear in pure joy as they anxiously await a nice long holiday break. After all the groups perform, there is a special surprise for the kids. Santa Claus comes through the doors with a jolly “ho, ho, ho”! The children light up with joy and gather around to receive candy canes. Later, more festive holiday music is played as the HSE students mix and mingle with these very special young people.
I have been attending this event since my Freshman year, and it is the highlight of my holiday season by far. Giving back is an important part of the holidays and doing so within your community feels even more special. Seeing their faces and smiles makes me so happy and feel so privileged to be a part of something so much bigger than myself. Living with a disability is no easy task, so being able to help these children smile despite their struggles really makes me feel whole. With this all in mind, just remember, the holidays are a time of spreading love and giving back. Maybe you can reach out to someone in need or do something out of the ordinary because you never whose holiday you might make extra special. Happy Holidays HSE! See you next year!
Photos courtesy of Chip Parker.