Hazleton honor society members spread holiday cheer to special needs students

Local News

HAZLETON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — High school students, state police, and Santa came together Monday morning to bring Christmas cheer to others.

The National Honor Society Students at Hazleton Area High School are on a mission to spread holiday cheer to nearly two hundred life-skills & autistic support students throughout the district.

Giana Potence from the Hazleton Area National Honor Society said, “You just want to bring holiday cheer to everybody. And it’s a good way to spread kindness. And you just do the right thing for people getting everybody presents. Making everybody happy after a horrible year with covid, and just being in isolation.”

Trooper David Peters started the program in the Poconos and brought it here to Hazleton about eight years ago.

“When I came over here to Hazleton, I brought that program over here. Spoke with Mr. Jason Turri (and) National Honor Society students. And they were just so excited to be, to have the program. So we kind of collaborated since then to do this.”

Organizers like Jason Turri and Mary Pecora say both the students from the National Honor Society who’ve purchased the gifts, and the students who receive the gifts, are overcome with positive emotions.

“Absolutely, our national honor society students get so much out of this and enjoy it. And bring smiles to the faces of these kids. And again we both get so much out of it” said Turri.

“I know a lot of people feel left out and this would be a great idea for them to get involved and be able to receive a present even if they are not able to. To show them the Christmas spirit as well.” Pecora said.

Many students who received a gift—- seemed just as excited to pass on a letter to Santa.

These are one of those things that so rewarding to see the excitement in the young individual’s eyes. We come into the classroom and they see santa. And then to look at the student’s eyes, when they see that happiness from the student.

192 students from six schools received a gift with the help of more than 100 National Honor Society Students.

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