Pandemic fails to stop Winter Wishes


An “elf” tracking system monitors the Winter Wishes deliveries over the course of three days. The pandemic may have affected many areas of life, but the annual tradition at PHS continues. (Jamie Mooring, for Vanguard)

Three days.

10 drivers.

Thirty different routes and 185 deliveries to make. 

The 2020 pandemic may have cancelled the annual Alumni Assembly, but it wasn’t going to stop the Leadership class, under the direction of Jamie Mooring, from bringing joy and connection not only to the students of PHS but the community as well. 

“I am so proud of our spirit of giving.” ”

— Jamie Mooring, Leadership Adviser

Students made wishes in November for their classmates who could use extra cheer.

“We also had some students who recommended classmates who needed just a bit extra because this year has been so tough,” Mooring said. “Of course we took care of them too.” 

Students around the Puyallup community heard their doorbells ring this week and discovered their Winter Wish left at their doorstep. This annual program wasn’t cancelled due to COVID. (Jamie Mooring, for Vanguard)
PHS students had a variety of different “wishes” granted during the annual Winter Wishes program. This year, due to COVID, the wishes were granted by delivery to the student’s home. (Jamie Mooring, for Vanguard)



Fifty-eight Winter Wishes were delivered Dec. 15 with more set to go out at press time. Mooring had a parent volunteer use an “elf tracker” to watch the deliveries happening in real time. 

The Leadership class spent part of December preparing deliveries for the Winter Wishes program. There were 185 different deliveries that went out over the course of three days. (Jamie Mooring, for Vanguard)

“Of course, our first priority was the 23 families who really needed our support this year,” Mooring said.

Families were picking up their “goodies” this week: gifts, dinners, hygiene care packages, grocery gift cards and certificates to many local restaurants over break.

“And all of this was made possible by our amazing community, staffulty support, Booster Club, and through the collaborative work of our student groups: DECA, FCCLA, FFA, HOSA and Renaissance Leadership,” Mooring said. 

Deliveries for this year’s Winter Wishes program also were made to local long-term care facilities as well as Good Samaritan Hospital’s COVID unit. (Jamie Mooring, for Vanguard)

The final Winter Wish project involved the whole student body during a Homeroom in the month of December.

“Our final Winter Wish project was to deliver over 700 holiday cards to the local nursing homes and thee COVID unit at Good Samaritan Hospital,” Mooring said. “They were all made by students and staff at PHS. I am so proud of our spirit of giving.” 

In addition to dropping off handmade cards to Good Samaritan Hospital, Leadership students also delivered part of the over 700 cards to long-term care facilities in the community. (Jamie Mooring, for Vanguard)