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McHenry High School volunteers help deliver nearly 7,000 gifts to McHenry County families

For the sixth year, McHenry High School students, staff and families joined with McHenry Sunrise Rotary for the Sunrise Secret Santa program to deliver holiday cheer throughout McHenry County.

More than 100 people from MCHS were part of the team of 800 volunteers involved in the massive effort to collect gifts, then wrap, sort and deliver. On Sunday, Dec. 15, close to 7,000 gifts were delivered to 1,750 kids in 643 families.

“It’s fun working with the kids. They’ve been a pleasure over the years,” said Mike Lehman, president-elect of the McHenry Sunrise Rotary and chair of the Sunrise Secret Santa program.

“It is a crazy week but a lot of fun.”

McHenry High School volunteers included players from boys and girls basketball teams, members of the National Honor Society, Student Council, PE Leadership, administration and staff.

Lehman said the club works with Kids in Need of McHenry County to find families who may need help with the holidays. Families can also sign up through the website.

To gather gifts, the club works with Toys for Tots, and boxes for donations are in McHenry schools, he said. Also, the club purchases some gifts.

The Sunrise Rotary has had a program for delivering presents for about 10 years, but created the Secret Santa program six years ago.

“It is a pleasure working with the high school and seeing all the students come back every year,” he said.

In addition to high school volunteers, the club also had help from the McHenry Police Department, the McHenry Conservation District, the Wonder Lake Fire Department, and community members.