Volunteers from the Sandy Creek National Honor Society spent several hours ensuring that hundreds of less fortunate children in the Sandy Creek area had a happy Christmas morning and their families had a wonderful holiday meal this year.
The students, along with their advisor, Casey Vallance, volunteered their time and energy to help local community groups wrap and box the holiday goodwill.
Peggy Manchester, who also runs the local Friendship Shop, said the boxes will feed more than 100 families and gifts were wrapped for more than 200 children in the area.
Needy families apply for the gift and food distribution that takes place at one of the local churches in the Sandy Creek/Lacona area.
The application provides information so volunteers can match sizes, needs and wants to a specific child in need. The boxes are separated by child and identified with a first name and family number to allow for anonymity.
Student and volunteer wrappers munched on Christmas cookies while holiday music played. They worked feverishly to get the thousands of presents wrapped before the snow outside worsened for fear that school would close early and students would be sent home.
As the morning wore on, boxes of wrapped presents began to pile up quickly as the students individually wrapped each present, and packed each food box with the fixings for a wonderful holiday meal.
On distribution day, the food boxes also included a turkey and oleo for each family.
“We are so thankful for the students’ help,” said Manchester, who coordinates the holiday distribution along with many other volunteers from the community. “I don’t know what we’d do without them.”
Student volunteers return on distribution day to assist families and food pantry volunteers with delivery to the families’ vehicles for transport home.