Students learn meaning of Christmas

By Adam Jackson / Ponoka News

Three friends from Ponoka Composite High School made a lasting impression on the community Monday night.

Driver Jagvir Sandhu and ‘co-drivers’ Emily Jensen and Josh Prediger, among about 30 others in different vehicles, took from their own time to help others and deliver hampers of food for Santa’s Anonymous, a campaign the students at PCHS have been organizing for almost 30 years.

The baskets full of food and other necessities are the direct result of relentless fundraising done by students and staff including the hugely successful “Stuff a Bus” event, which took place on Dec. 6 and 7 here in Ponoka.

Armed with four generously donated baskets containing everything from ham to Kraft dinner, and a van, a map, and goodwill, the trio set out to make a difference and deliver the baskets to those in need.

The first delivery, to an elderly man on 43 Street, went off without a hitch. The trio was greeted with a smile and a thank you.

“I like to see the smile on their face when they get the baskets,” said Prediger.

Regardless of the serious nature of helping those in need, the three teens also had a bit of fun. A little bit of playful namecalling occurred, especially after the trio got lost and pulled more than enough U-turns to make any driving instructor cringe. This was the first year that any one of them had delivered baskets, and it showed, but the determination of helping those less fortunate helped them

Emily Jensen keeps an eye on the Christmas hampers as her friends navigate the streets of Ponoka. push through the confusing directions and get the baskets delivered.

“Helping people out by helping them with things they can’t afford gives me a warm feeling,” said Sandhu.

When it comes down to it, the three did it all for the right reason. It was all about giving back.

“It feels good to help out, they really appreciate it,” said Jensen.

Karen David, a co-ordinator for the event and a teacher at PCHS, was pleased with how the students handled the task. Members of the girls’ basketball team from PCHS volunteered to deliver, as well as students from St. Augustine School. David also saw many students that she didn’t expect to volunteer, which impressed her.

The students don’t get any material benefit from delivering the hampers, but they are still driven to help.

“Some kids really like it and look forward to it. Their reward is delivering the hampers,” said David.