The Boarders Who Saved Christmas

It is not often that the entire boarding house participates in an activity together. However, when it does, it is an impressive scene of organization combined with chaos. Such was the case on December 17th, when the boarders were entrusted with one task: to collect as much food as possible within a mile’s radius to support the annual St. George’s Hamper Drive.


Called the Harker Hall Reindeer Run, boarders were assigned different sections of the neighborhood to venture into. Despite the miserable rain and chilly temperatures, the event went on as planned; the Reindeer Run was a rain or shine event as it supported families in need. Though some were not looking forward to the event, each and every boarder gathered at the cafeteria, determined to complete this arduous job, some trying to finish as quickly as possible to get out of the rain.


Students divided themselves into groups of four and off they went on the school’s white and yellow school buses to the neighborhoods

they were assigned to. The Reindeer Run wasn’t simply like a walk through the neighborhood, as in addition to the rain, the students had to combat language barriers, empty houses, and rejection. Some even had to fend off ferocious dogs that would begin barking the moment the doorbell was pressed.


Despite the challenges, the boarders managed to put their best foot forward, greeting the neighbors with friendly smiles and a breath of courage. Their valiant efforts were met with tremendous success, as by the end of the night, the boarders had more food than they could carry. The school was a bustling factory as house parents poured truckload after truckload of donated food until the entrance of Mclean Hall looked like an all-you-can-eat buffet while boarders frantically carried the food in for sorting.


At the end of the night, the dining hall was filled to the brim with food and the exhausted boarders were greeted back at Harker Hall, with a nice warm shower and cups of steaming hot chocolate.


The 2018 Reindeer Run was full of exciting stories. As one boarder recalls, “Man, we were knocking on a house, when an old woman opened the door… I guess she thought we were thieves or something because she screamed really loudly at the sight of us. It was really unnerving at the time, but I can’t stop laughing now!” Also, one group accidentally knocked on the door of the Huawei CFO’s house: “I was very confused when the guy came out, looking scared as if we were planning to burn his house down. He even looked at us suspiciously through the windows when we were leaving. It was only then when the security guard talked to us that we realized the mistake we had made. I was completely shocked, and I kinda still am now!”


Dogs, old ladies, and house arrests aside, the 2018 Reindeer Run will be remembered by not just the boarders, but by the families, they helped out as well, who are immensely grateful for their contributions.