Cool Schools: Ridge View High School helps those in need - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Cool Schools: Ridge View High School helps those in need

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Getting in the holiday spirit early. It's something the students at Ridge View High School do every year to kick off a tradition that's been going on for almost two decades.

"Winter Wishes is our Service Project that benefits the local community," said Winter Wishes Chair Brooke Scales.

Every year the students and staff of Ridge View participate in Winter Wishes. They make a list and they check it twice, or however many times it takes to meet their goals.

And the first: teaming up with the Department of Social Services to help Foster Children have Christmas.

"We have a foster child party where we have to get 85 children sponsored and make sure they have all the toys and everything they need for Christmas," said Scales.

Next on their list is an event put on by the Fine Arts Program that benefits The Family Shelter.

"The Giving Bowl is an event where we create a soup kitchen experience, and the community can purchase a ticket for $10 and they can sample soups that teachers have created," said dance teacher Ellen Harrison.

Also on the list, helping out a local food bank. Different school organizations compete by building sculptures out of canned goods to see who can be the most creative. It is just one of the service projects Ridge View cheerleaders are participating in, and Coach Morgan Lea Daniels says this year it has a special meaning for her girls as they remember one of their teammates.

"They are going to make a giant pyramid to represent cheer, and at the top of our sculpture we will have a picture of Gabbiee Swainson, to represent Gabbiee who is still with us as part of our program," she said.

And finally the last project on the list, partnering with Happy Wheels of Columbia to collect new toys and books for teens who are staying at the Palmetto Health Children's Hospital.

"We are focusing our attention on the 14 to 18-year-old category because that's the age of our students here," said Student Activities Director Lisa Ellis. "So we have a list of items that will benefit that particular age range."

"Making sure others have food, making sure foster children have something for Christmas, because not everybody gets something for Christmas," said Scales. "It just makes me feel happy and I think others do as well."

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