The MCHS Giving Tree provided gifts for 71 youth

The elves at McHenry Community High School were busy this month trying to deliver a happy holiday to families in need.

The annual Giving Tree project provided gifts for 71 young people in the school community. With the help of school staff, students and community members, the tree offered individuals a chance to donate items or funding to purchase items from the wish list.

It was one of two annual major projects MCHS contributes to during the holiday season. On Dec. 18, about 40 teams of students, staff and families delivered gifts as part of the McHenry Area Rotary Secret Santa program.

For the Giving Tree program, student services staff – specifically School Social Worker Veronica Eggert and School Counselor JR Bocian – created it at least 17 years ago as a way to help students in need. It started with supporting about 10 families and has grown each year.

“This is a huge community effort,” Eggert said.

Organizations that help with the effort include McHenry Police Department, alumni association, Cobra 31 Foundation, area businesses, community members, National Honor Society, Key Club and Kids in Need.