RHS Students Give Back to Community

During the holiday season, there are various ways that the students and staff of RHS help give back to the community.

D/HOH teacher Mrs. Heier-Hammond and her students have one of the most long-running and unique traditions. For the last ten years, they have given back by providing a needy family with a deaf child a Christmas holiday worthy of remembrance. Heier-Hammond begins the process by contacting her D/HOH supervisor and asking for a family with a deaf child in Montgomery County. If the parents say it’s okay, the students shop for presents, wrap them and deliver the presents to the family.

During the delivery, one student dresses up in a Santa suit with a long white beard and sack, while the others wear elf hats, complete with pointed ears. Heier-Hammond bought the Santa costume the first year she began the tradition, and gradually gathered all of the other costume pieces.

“We do it for the joy on their faces. Their surprised look seeing Santa come to their house,” Heier-Hammond said. “Kids love doing it. They’re seeing the children’s eyes light up, looking at Santa, going “is he for real?a��… One year I remember we bought two bicycles, one even had training wheels. We put them together in the office! We had to borrow a screwdriver and a wrencha�� Very hands-on.”

Other clubs do their best to give back as well. This year, the Hispanic Club chose to focus on meeting some of the more basic holiday needs within the Rockville community. They are currently holding a winter coat drive. Students are being asked to bring in new or gently used coats to Room 1037. The drive ends on December 23.

The Best Buddies program looked beyond just the RHS community and chose to help the City of Rockville with their annual Toy Drive this year, making it the second year that they have participated. Last year, with the help of Best Buddies and other groups, the Toy Drive was able to provide over 1,400 teenagers and children in the area with gift cards or toys. Best Buddies collected six boxes of toys, one of which was extra-large. This year, Best Buddies has set up three trees at the Children’s Hospital Outpatient site in Rockville and decorated them with handmade ornaments for the patients and their visitors to enjoy.

“I like the Toy Drive because if helps children within our very own community,” Best Buddies sponsor Dawn Rundhammer said. “This is not a fundraiser, but a service project. We just wanted to collect as many toys and gift cards as possiblea�� I encourage all staff and students of RHS to give in some way during this holiday season, and all throughout the year.”

Whatever the club or holiday, the most important thing is that both students and staff at RHS have realized just how good it feels to give back to the Rockville community this holiday season.