TRAVERSE CITY — Madelynn Brady loves the Christmas season.
It’s all about family and reaching out and helping other people, said Brady, an eighth grader at Traverse City’s East Middle School.
”I think it makes people want to give,” she said.
It certainly had that affect on Brady’s classmates in East Middle School’s National Junior Honor Society who, with the help of some local businesses, raised nearly $900 to brighten the holidays for some of the school’s less fortunate families.
Seven families will receive a ham and a $100 gift card from T.J. Maxx to purchase clothes and gifts as a result of a holiday wreath sale conducted by NJHS members. The students raised about $650 selling wreaths, and school staff provided additional donations, said Judy Childs, a teacher at East and an advisor of NJHS.
“We offered it to them and they took it and they ran with it,” Childs said of the students’ wreath sales. “The staff, too, is just incredible through buying wreaths and kicking in money.”
Groleau’s Farm Market, of East Bay Township, supplied wreaths for the fundraiser at a discounted rate. Lynn Groleau, who owns the market with her husband, said her children attended East Middle School, and the fundraiser seemed like a good way to support the community.
”A lot of people will buy a wreath anyway to decorate their house, so why not do it when they’re helping somebody out?” Groleau said.
Traverse City’s HoneyBaked Ham store provided hams at a discounted rate, too.
Brady, a president of East’s NJHS chapter, said she supported the fundraiser to help families from East who are financially struggling.
“I knew that it would just be a really nice thing to be involved in, giving them money so they could have a really happy Christmas season,” she said.