Kenwood Provides Holiday Cheer through Adopt a Family Tradition


Santa’s Sleigh (aka Kenwood’s adopt a family gifts) ready to deliver to families.

Emily Overby

Here at Kenwood we try our best to assist the community in many ways. One of the ways our school helps out is with our Operation Holiday Joy. Every year Ms. Brendlinger takes lead on Kenwood’s Adopt a Family program where our school works together to assist parents in giving their children gifts for the holiday.

This year the gifts from Operation Holiday Joy were purchased by KHS teachers, staff, and administration. This time around we also had two outside organizations, Ms Cox’s Empower4Life organization, as well as The Wellness Center CRNP, and a former staff donate for the gifts. “Kenwood truly is one big family,” shared Ms. Brendlinger. This project began over twelve years ago. The teacher who started it all was Ms. Cox, but when she had left the school Mrs. Seymore ran the project for a bit. But now Ms. Brendlinger has been running it for our Kenwood since 2017.

The tradition in the past would be for Kenwood student organizations to wrap gifts for the families. This year staff wrapped them before turning them in for delivery.

2020 is year where Operation Holiday Joy is more important than ever. Ms. Brendlinger said “The pandemic has hit our community hard and caused a huge increase in requests for Holiday assistance. We also had several departments unable to provide gifts this year. We are always grateful for any assistance provided, packing boxes of food, delivering food baskets and gifts.” Kenwood’s Adopt a Family drive this year provided for forty-nine students and their families.

Ms. Brendlinger is happy to take the lead on organizing Kenwood’s Adopt a Family tradition. “It keeps me feeling connected with my father whom passes away ten and a half years ago. He used to dress as Santa for schools, families, and even weddings. He truly was Santa!”

During a time when it’s been hard to keep traditions going, Kenwood is thankful to hold onto this school tradition during the holiday season.