Anonymous Saint Nicholas donates $2,700 in cash to student leadership president, who decides to Christmas shop for 34 kids
The anonymous Saint Nicholas – who teamed up with Chiloquin Junior-Senior High School student body president Dan Jones after connecting with him on Facebook -- donated $2,700 to help local youth in need.
Jones knew just what to do with the donation, and on Wednesday he headed up a team that spent several hours at the Fred Meyer store in Klamath Falls Christmas shopping for 34 elementary and high school students.
“We’re helping 25 families. It’s so cool,” the Chiloquin senior said. “A lot of these kids, they’ve never had anything brand new before. This is really amazing.”
Jordan Osborn, vice principal and leadership advisor, helped Jones with the project along with Andy Davis, the school’s academic learning facilitator, and leadership classmate Jasmine Schock. Other classmates joined the group to help choose items for younger siblings.
The shopping crew had lists with each youth’s clothing and shoe sizes as well as specific ideas from individual wish lists. They planned to spend $100 on each student, taking advantage of sales and coupons. Fred Meyer generously offered a 15 percent discount on the group’s entire purchase.
The team split up – each had a portion of the list – consulting with each other on sizes and styles, trying to purchase items the students on their lists would like. Many of the youth, Jones said, don’t often get new clothes and wear mostly hand-me-downs. After the anonymous donation, Osborn consulted with families, asking them if they wanted to participate.
Within an hour, at least four carts were overflowing with clothing and toys. By the time they finished shopping, the group had seven carts filled with items that will go under Christmas trees in 25 Chiloquin-area households, thanks to their anonymous Secret Santa.
It all started after Jones read a message on a community Facebook site. The writer was asking how she could help local children in need. Jones, who is instrumental in his high school’s Chiloquin Rising initiatives, had some ideas so he sent her a private message.
“She said she wanted to donate money to kids in need around here,” he said. They talked and the donor chose to work with Jones. “I decided to try to reach as many families as possible,” Jones said, “and figured buying new clothes and toys was the best thing to do with the money.”
After donating the cash, the donor showed up at the school with turkeys and trimmings for 10 complete holiday food baskets, Osborn said. School staff and students put together an additional dozen or so food baskets and plan to hand deliver the baskets and Christmas gifts before the holidays.
The generous donation – and resulting joy it will bring area youth – fits into Chiloquin Junior-Senior High School’s Chiloquin Rising initiative, defined in part by Osborn during an all-school assembly earlier this year: “It’s about making kindness normal. It’s about being compassionate. … It’s about making a positive difference in everybody’s life every single day.”
Osborn and others at the school were humbled by the donation and the student who helped make it happen.
“Dan Jones is the epitome of Chiloquin Rising,” Osborn said. “Quote me on that.”