The annual student holiday shopping event raises money for the Leechburg Area Learning Support Program | Jobs Reply

The holiday shopping center was packed Wednesday at Leechburg Area High School.

The annual Holiday Sale welcomed students on Day Two of the three-day event benefiting students enrolled in the District’s Learning Support Program.

Coordinator and founder Michelle Ferretti started fundraising 23 years ago. That one had one table with three students.

Since then, the shopping experience has grown, with hundreds of students participating in all grades.

“We’re giving this to students in the Learning Support Program to give them a chance to go shopping for the holidays,” Ferretti said.


Joyce Hanz | Tribune Review

Leechburg Area School District teacher Michelle Ferretti (left) helps wrap presents Wednesday with fourth grader Caeden Simon (center) and 10th grader Chloe Martin during the annual Holiday Sale.

About a dozen high school student volunteers from Leechburg Area and Lenape Tech were on hand to help elementary students with their shopping and gift wrapping.

Items for sale range from $1 to $5.

Ferretti collects donated gifts, many of them new, throughout the year.

The room is made up of shopping stations, including a stuffed animal area, children’s toys, clothing, Santa-themed gifts and board games.

“I call it Christmas chaos,” Ferretti said. But my favorite thing is when we finally finish all the students, and they have all their gifts and they are happy and excited to have something to share at home.”


Joyce Hanz | Tribune Review

The annual Holiday Sale is filled with over 1,000 items for sale at Leechburg Area High School.

The event raises hundreds of dollars each year that help pay for two scholarship support activities: an end-of-the-year field trip and a picnic.

Senior Eli Verner is back to volunteer for the second time this season. Verner helped David Leech Elementary third-grader Wyatt Hoch wrap a few gifts he bought Wednesday morning.

Hoch even gave himself a little holiday cheer.

“I bought myself Spongebob Ants from the game of pants,” said Hock.

For Verner, helping young students is something he enjoys.

“It’s fun for them,” said Verner, “and they can buy things for their families.”

Joyce Hanz is a staff writer for the Tribune-Review. You can contact Joyce by email at or via Twitter .

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