Opportunities abound for Carroll students to make Christmas bright for kids


Mrs. Diane Gimpel

The giving tree in the campus ministry office already has presents beneath it, but more are needed.

Dominic Venini, Staff writer

The Archbishop Carroll community kicks off the Christmas season with service projects, including Toys for Tots and giving trees, which aim to help families that are facing challenges during this year’s tough economic times. 

Carroll baseball takes on girls lacrosse in the Toys for Tots toy drive to see who can raise the most toys for children from families with low incomes. The teams will buy toys to donate. 

“Seeing the baseball team come together as a group and donate toys for younger children who are looking for the best Christmas possible makes us become more united before we enter the season,” said senior baseball player James Brown. 

The Community Service Corps and the Pro-Life Club also aim to help children this season. The two groups Carroll’s  teamed up with the Grands Stepping Up non-profit organization for the first time ever to help children receive Christmas gifts through the school’s annual giving tree program. Karen Barnes, the president of Grands Stepping Up non-profit organization, is a Carroll alumni behind the Adopt-a-Child project, which aims to make the children’s wishes come true. Grands Stepping Up helps local grandparents who are raising their grandchildren.  

Two Christmas trees are located in Carroll: one in campus ministry and the other near the chapel. These giving trees are loaded with paper ornaments printed with descriptions of gifts — like nail polish sets and a remote control car — that students can choose to buy and donate to children in need. Unwrapped gifts can be placed under the tree in the campus ministry office until Wednesday, Dec. 14.

Helping the clubs to organize the giving tree donation program are Mrs. Terri Crossan, who works in campus ministry, and Mrs. Yulene Ramos, who teaches Spanish.

“My favorite part about helping Mrs. Ramos with the CSC Toy Drive is actually two parts,” Mrs. Crossan said. “First, I have the opportunity to work with Carroll students and talk about toys to buy for the four and five year olds. Second, it definitely makes me feel great about the fact that the Carroll community will make 30 children’s Christmas wishes come true.” 

Senior Rebecca Wallgren is among the students who are part of the team, too.

“I like to give back to those who need it more than me,” Wallgren said. “I am very lucky with all I have and it makes me even happier to share and make others happy.”