HAPPY VALLEY, Ore. (KOIN) — It’s called “Winter Rage” but it brings a lot of joy to families in need every year.
Clackamas High School Key Club throws on the event at their school each year to provide clothing, food, and other essentials to families for free.
A community donation-fueled tradition for more than 20 years, Saturday’s iteration helped around 200 families who could hardly afford to have their basic needs met, let alone money set aside for presents.
“This event is just the perfect example of what we stand for, helping and giving back to the community. So that’s why we take charge of it every year,” Clackamas High School Key Club Vice President Darla Le told KOIN 6 News.
In addition to piles and piles of clothes, toys, electronics, food bags, and even furniture that event organizers gave out to families, the club members also work to fulfill parents’ wish-lists for children’s Christmas presents.
“No one ever leaves this event empty-handed,” the 16-year-old Le said.
The event, held at Clackamas High School East Campus, is quite the festival in its own right, featuring a carnival with mini-games for kids and live music from some members of the Clackamas High School Band.
“Families are always so happy to be here and it’s such a joy to hear the kids laughing and playing in the carnival,” Le said. “This club provides the meaning of community. And I love being a member because I feel like we’re all friends.”
Le had been volunteering with different groups since childhood and plans to pursue a career in medicine after high school to continue to work in the service field. This was her first year helping to run Winter Rage behind the scenes, though she’s spent previous years helping out as a club member.
The club also receives sponsorship from local charities and businesses. They collect donations going toward Winter Rage all year round, through this website.