Holly jolly vibes


Students cover Etowah High School’s cafeteria with wrapping paper, ornaments, and tinsel until it is no longer recognizable. Small children begin to file in and wait at decorated tables as they prepare for a holiday celebration. Dec. 3rd marked the annual Shop With an Eagle (SWAE) event, and Etowah students, once again, spent the day bringing joy and cheer to the community. 

Every year, Etowah High School hosts a day which kids from underprivileged families get to come in and enjoy a day of crafts, games, Santa Claus, food, and a Christmas show. All of Etowah spend the weeks prior to the actual event fundraising, shopping for the kids, and preparing for the big occasion. Along with the fun day, the mentors (the Etowah students assisting the event) gift the kids bags of presents for them and their families and supply them with extra food and necessities to help them through the holiday season. Following the event, the mentors write a letter to the child they were paired with thanking them for the great day and wishing them a Merry Christmas.  

“I did SWAE because it was something that I have never done before, and it sounded like it would be a great experience. I liked how everyone that participates in the event gets something out of it, and everyone can have fun with each other while doing so. My favorite activity during the main event would be the game section because me and my junior Eagle played bean bag toss the whole time and even after 20 minutes he did not want to stop playing,” Satya Prabhuram, sophomore, said.  

SWAE’s main goal is to spread joy to the community and provide those in need with a happy holiday season where parents do not have to stress about providing food and clothing for their families. Many of the kids in the program do not get the privilege of having bundles of presents under the tree each year like others in the community do, as typically, their parents are focused on just having enough to make dinner each night; however, this day helps take the stress off their shoulders and allows them to focus on enjoying the fun in the Christmas season.  

“I enjoy Shop With an Eagle because it is a really fun experience for not just the kids but for everyone. What I love most about the event is that we are helping less privileged kids that are so grateful for every little thing they are getting out of Shop With an Eagle. It is honestly a great environment for everyone, and we all have a ton of fun,” Kira Stevenson, junior, said.  

Those who enjoy serving the community, want more volunteer hours, or like working with children would be best fit for SWAE. The event can offer students a feeling of satisfaction, for they are spending the day helping others and gifting kids an opportunity to experience Christmas joy, something these children may not have been able to do before due to financial insecurities.  

“Shop With an Eagle is an amazing experience. It is a great way to give to the community. I love seeing the joy on all of the kids faces as they do the fun activities,” Victoria Sprecher, freshman, said. 

If one missed the deadline to apply this year, do not fret, for SWAE will return once again next holiday season. For questions about the event, visit Kristy Wiggins in room 7206, Donell Osborne in 7205, or Mystic Henderson in 3202.