Community Service Club Plays Santa Again for Christmas 2021


Gannon Wentz

A sign directs children to drop their letters to Santa outside of The Griswold Center in downtown Worthington.

Sam Guy

The Community Service Club will be delivering toys to underprivileged children again this year. Every year there are many children who don’t get presents so the club works to compensate for what children would otherwise miss. The Community Service Club partners with Tiffin Elementary School in Chillicothe where many young students come from families that can’t afford Christmas presents. This is especially true in recent years due to Covid.

Much like years past, the club’s work this year with the toy drive was a huge success. Teachers Paul Pflieger, and Amy Beckstedt collaborated to lead the group’s efforts on this project. According to Mr. Plieger, the toy drive supplies presents for “roughly 600 and some” “students in grades 1-3 at Tiffin Elementary.

“Chillicothe has faced a lot of financial hardship, with many factories and businesses closing,” said Pflieger.

The average household income in Worthington is $104,362 while the average household income in Chillicothe Ohio is $44,323 per US Census Bureau as of 2019. With a lot of job loss due to Covid, many families have faced even more hardship in recent years. The goal of this toy drive is to offset the effects of poverty by making a difference to a child in need.

“I think that if you have something, you should give’” reflects Pflieger. “Especially due to Covid, I think [students] want to get out and do something to help others”.

This is a hopeful outlook on returning to normal life after Covid, showing that maybe people will be more inclined to be kind to one another after facing a lot of hardship of their own in recent years.

The Community Service Club is led by Mr. Pflieger. He took over for Judi Galasso who retired last year. During his first year leading the club, Pflieger has faced many challenges. According to Mr. Plieger, there has been a lack of donations to do their yearly “Welcome Home” project.

In this project, the club “will take an apartment, or a small house, and furnish the entire thing” for Women leaving homeless shelters to live alone or with children to support as well. However, due to Covid, there has been a lack of donations in “furniture, dishes, towels, and so on”. Last year they were able to complete one, but this year they do not have enough supplies to do even begin working on an apartment. If you have any inquiries or would like to donate supplies, reach out to Mr.Plieger in room 282.

In the face of obstacles in recent years, Pflieger’s attitude hasn’t changed. On the topic of our responsibility to give back, he adds “you have a responsibility as a human, to another human. If there is something you can do you should do it”