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strongsville ohio ornament drive for sandy relief Members of the Strongaville Youth Commission selling ornaments as a way to raise money for Hurricane Sandy relief. (Photo courtesy Mahathi Venkatesh)

Ornaments of Hope

High school students spread holiday cheer to Sandy victims

By Mahathi Venkatesh | January 9 , 2013

The Strongsville Youth Commission (SYC) in Strongsville, Ohio, had an idea to spread the joy of the season to the victims of Hurricane Sandy. The Youth Against Poverty subgroup of SYC raised money by organizing an ornament sale at the Strongsville Recreation Center.

SYC sold paper ornaments made for kids that were sold for one dollar and glass ornaments that were sold for $5. These ornaments were hung on the Christmas tree in the lobby of the Recreation Center. Supplies to make the ornaments were donated by local stores and businesses. SYC raised more than $300 through the ornament sale.

The Strongsville Youth Commission is a group of talented, young high school students. They strive to learn the skills of leadership, serve the community, and have fun while they're at it. The commission is divided into several subgroups based on different topics of community importance. This highly motivated and dedicated group is led by Dobie Moser. The group consists of Daniel O'Brien, Shannon Novak, Jacob Gregg, Rachel Chen, Caitlyn Choe, Adrian Padin, and their adult mentor Cara Padin.

After Sandy hit the east coast and left more than 30,000 people homeless, SYC knew it had to help. Some members even had relatives in the area, so the disaster hit close to home.

"If we were in a devastating situation I would hope that they would come help us. I know they would! So we should definitely help," Moser said. "That's basically the fundamentals of the Strongsville Youth Commission, to be a big human family."

The students knew that they would not be able to physically go to the affected areas to help. But they also knew there were things they could do from Strongsville.

"If you live out-of-state then you could try to raise funds and supplies and people in state could be helping as much as they can," Adrian Padin said.

The group hopes that the money they earned through the ornament drive will go to building repairs and food supplies.

"It makes us feel good to know that we are helping someone," the group said.

You can find share your Hurricane Sandy experiences and find more coverage of the storm and its aftermath on the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps Blog.

Find out how kids across the country are helping the Hurricane Sandy relief effort — and catch up with the Kid Reporters' on-the-ground reporting during the storm — in the Hurricane Sandy Recovery Special Report.


Get the latest on national and international events, movies, television, music, sports, and more from the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.

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