JERSEYVILLE - Students in the Jersey Community High School Advanced Design class have been busy this holiday season making their own crafts and merchandise to sell for a good cause. Advanced Design teacher Erica Heitzig challenged her students to raise $100 each to donate to kids at JCHS who otherwise wouldn’t have Christmas gifts, and she said they have all reached that goal.

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Students worked individually or in groups and have been hard at work crafting handmade ornaments, designing sweatshirts, and promoting their products on social media. Heitzig said one team of four girls advertised their embroidered sweatshirts on social media and got 65 orders overnight.

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“It’s been neat to see what the students have done - some are doing machine embroidery, some are doing handmade crotchet ornaments, others are using the sewing machine or our Glowforge laser cutter, and there’s been some vinyl projects too,” she said. “I’m just the facilitator over here like, ‘What do I need to do to help you?’ - they are truly running it, and that is just pretty cool.”

Heitzig said all of her Advanced Design student groups hit their goal of $100 by Dec. 9. Since the class is part of a federally-funded program, students didn’t make profits for themselves - all proceeds will go into a general fund at JCHS that helps students in need, which is also partially funded by other groups, clubs, and promotions at the school.

Heitzig said it’s been “very rewarding” to see “kids helping kids” while using their entrepreneurial skills.

“It’s super cool to be able to see them doing a meaningful task … and help them understand what it’s like to pretty much start up a small little business - and to see that it’s going to help other kids in our building is just very inspiring overall,” she said. “It gets me in the holiday spirit, too.”

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