Parker Green's 'best Christmas'
Gail Maholick/TIMES NEWS Carissa Sevin, left, was brought to tears by Parker Green's reaction after receiving his new bike. Alyssa Wentz is at right.
Christmas day was certainly made more memorable for 14-year-old Parker Green of Lehighton, thanks to a large group of his fellow friends and classmates.
Parker, a freshman at Lehighton Area High School, had the surprise of his life when 65 of his friends gathered around him last Thursday to present him with some valued gifts.
The effort to make Christmas brighter for Parker, who attends some special classes, was the brainchild of Carissa Sevin and Alyssa Wentz.
"He is so nice and so friendly all the time that we wanted to do this for him," said Sevin.
"We also knew that his family couldn't afford to do it, so we decided to make his Christmas memorable," Wentz added.
Parker's father, Dennis Green, said he was overwhelmed by the generosity of the students.
"We've had a hard year financially because of a lot of health issues in the family," said Green. "I really appreciate what everyone has done for Parker."
After canvassing her classmates Sevin was soon surprised at the students' generosity. Some donated $20 and a few teachers even gave as much as $50 to make sure Parker's Christmas was special.
Within a brief period, the donations mounted to $450.
"We knew that he wanted a black mountain bike," said Sevin. "When we went to shop, we found everything on sale, so we were able to do a little more."
The "little more" included extras like a helmet, neon hoodie, winter jacket and a bike lock.
The students who contributed to the effort watched as Parker was led to his gifts in the high school foyer last Thursday by Wentz and Sevin.
Wentz said that she was able to bring Parker to the foyer by asking him for his help.
With a hand over his eyes, Parker had no idea what was awaiting him.
Initially Parker was speechless.
Then he said, "Wow. Thank you so much. I love it. Wow."
"We had 65 students take park in this, plus a lot of people from other schools," said Wentz.
Parker's father said that he's the bus driver for many of the participating students and that he never expected anything like this.
"I would have never expected the kids from my bus to do anything like this after the way I yell at them," Green quipped, explaining that he yells at the kids for their own safety.
After Parker was presented the seven-speed bike, he rode it through the halls of the school, a huge grin on his face.
"I really love it," said Parker. "I am thankful for this. You have made this the best Christmas for me."