Helping Others

Help Belleville East students in need have a merry Christmas

The Belleville News-Democrat features a different charity every day from the day after Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. If you know a charity that should be featured, contact Heidi Wiechert at

Make a Change

The “Make a Change” program assists Belleville East students and families in financial need or who are having a negative life experience by making their Christmas a little brighter. The program identifies students in need and offers them support and resources through gift cards, clothing, coats, food baskets and other items.

The program started in 2005 and helped more than 100 students in 2017. A few examples of students who have been helped include: those battling cancer and other illnesses, living in a hotel, homeless, living with parents who have lost jobs, living with parents who are disabled or living below the poverty level.

How to help

With the growth of students in need, “Make a Change” has required more funding.

Michelle Seneczyn, school counselor, wrote: “Support from the entire community pays dividends through the lives of our young individuals who are prepared for the challenges of tomorrow. We are extremely proud of what we do to help Belleville East students and are grateful to have community members play such a huge role in this program. Our goal is to help every student and family referred.”

The program is asking the community for cash donations or gift cards to Walmart, Target or a grocery store. Make checks payable to: Belleville East Make a Change: Attention Michelle Seneczyn.

If you would like to help fund Christmas 2017, have your donation in by Dec. 15. Any donations after that date will be applied to next Christmas or will help a needy student during the coming year.

Contact information

For any questions regarding the program, contact Michelle Seneczyn at 618-222-3741 or