Smiles, hugs, tears, laughter - and of course, bouncing.
Friday night was filled with all of these as the National Honor Society of Carson High School presented six families with a Christmas party at Bouncerz on Deer Run Road.
Three weeks ago, NHS members contacted Jeannette Ardinger at the Carson City School District and asked how they could help out other kids this Christmas. Ardinger suggested they adopt some families.
The NHS members adopted six families then set out to raise money to buy gifts of food, clothing and toys. NHS students were divided into groups of 10 students, and each group set out to raise $200 for the family assigned to that group.
All of the groups reached their goal, and along the way, found out that the community is very generous. Several local businesses chipped in coupons or gift certificates for the families.
Other student clubs, including the Key Club, Link Crew, Drama Department and the Choir Department, donated money for food. Retired teacher Jan Anderson and her husband, Jim, provided many gifts, including a bike for one little girl. Bouncerz donated the use of their facility to host the party.
After the money was raised, it was time to shop. Toys for Tots contacted the NHS members and told them they would donate the toys so students could save the money to spend on food and clothes.
Bouncerz was a site to behold Friday night as the families and NHS members gathered to celebrate Christmas. After the children played, it was time for presents to be opened.
The families sat down with the NHS group responsible for shopping for them, and the kids ripped into their packages, just like it was Christmas morning. NHS members and the children sat around together playing, laughing, hugging and crying.
NHS member Callie Ward said, "This is one of the most touching things I have ever been a part of in my life." One of the moms said, "Bless you all for what you have done for our family."
As for the children on the receiving end, Rejinald from Fritsch Elementary said, "Thank you." Another child said, "This is so cool, exactly what I wanted" after opening the Game Boy donated by Game Crazy.
• Angila Golik is a teacher at Carson High School and an adviser for NHS.