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Making kids’ Christmas wishes come true

Hebr(Ind.) National Junior Honor Society students Brooke Phelps (left) Maddie Kleine both 15 choose Transformers toys as they shop for

Hebron (Ind.) National Junior Honor Society students Brooke Phelps (left) and Maddie Kleine, both 15, choose Transformers toys as they shop for a 10-year-old boy at the Wal-Mart in Valparaiso, Ind. | Stephanie Dowell~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 28, 2013 3:40PM



Oh, the choices.

Hebron High School freshmen Maddie Kleime and Brooke Phelps looked through piles of boys’ jeans at Wal-Mart on a Saturday morning before Christmas, looking for just the right ones for a 10-year-old boy.

The members of the National Junior Honor Society decided on three pairs, and then went on to find shirts. Their goal: Buy the unknown boy the things on his gift wish list, and have enough money left in their $150 budget to buy him a few surprises, too.

“Once we get what he wants, we can get more, but we can’t go over budget,” Brooke said on Dec. 15, checking out sizes and prices. “We try to get as much as possible, so if we find cheaper stuff, we can get more.”

Members of the honor society, who attend Hebron Middle School as well, have been buying Christmas gifts for less-fortunate kids for 11 years, said program sponsor Danny Patrick.

The honor society gets children’s names from the Lions Club, and usually has about 32 kids to shop for. This year, their ages span from 6 months old to 11 years old. The honor society held a haunted house around Halloween to raise money for the service project.

Part of the challenge, as Maddie and Brooke, veterans of the service project, know, is spending the allotted amount of money per child wisely.

As the two looked through the clearance racks and tried to find athletic pants that might fit the boy they were buying gifts for, the two high school students they enjoyed the project.

“I like helping little kids that wouldn’t necessarily get a Christmas without us going out and raising the money, because they will definitely get something,” Brooke said.

Without the honor society’s assistance, some children wouldn’t get the things they want, and their parents might be able to get them just the necessities, Maddie added.

“It’s nice to be able to make extra money out of the budget to get them something else,” she said.



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