Oakdale continues it annual holiday donations!


Kate Ehrlich

The annual Bear Hugs holiday donations flyer of how to donate.

Emery Clark, Editor

Kate Ehrlich, a social studies teacher at Oakdale explains, “The Bear Hugs Fund is money that we collect, throughout the year, [primarily around the holidays] that we use to spend on students and their families. Sometimes it could be school supplies, a lot of times its clothing. We also do holiday meals over the break.” 


Another social studies teacher at Oakdale, Jessica Miller adds, “We collect money from whomever wants to donate money to the school. Then we take that money to purchase Christmas gifts and/or any holiday gifts, sometimes we put together food baskets for a holiday dinner for Oakdale families that otherwise wouldn’t get those things. It goes right back into the Oakdale community.”


 The fund was started by Ehrlich about 5 years ago. Ehrlich states, “We do it every year. It’s been the last 5-6 years that we have been doing it. It started informally, it was me and a couple other teachers who knew that there were some students in need of clothes, especially winter clothes, so we would go and buy them. Then it expanded into more teachers that would do it, then we realized there was too much need and we couldn’t all afford to do it on our own. We started getting donations from the community.”


Miller comments, “It started with Ms. Ehrlich and Ms. Mehl[who used to work here] just talking about it informally then I got to talking to them and was trying to help them out. We all realized there was a bigger need than we thought, in the community, so we decided to make it a little more formal through the school… we decided that we needed to help.”


Ehrlich, Miller, and other teachers work very hard to make sure the families of Oakdale have a great holiday. Ehrlich exclaims, “Anyone can donate, you can donate by check, just make the check out to OHS Bear Hugs or you can do it online at ‘School cash’. We get donations from all kinds of people, we get donations from grandparents who have grandkids here at the school, people in the community. We put it on social media so some people that really don’t have any connection to Okadale but want to find a group to donate to, so they give us funds. It’s really nice.” 


To help the teachers of Oakdale make sure everyone has a great holiday make sure to donate to the Oakdale Bear hugs Fund!