Hundreds of less fortunate individuals and families from the Sandy Creek/Lacona area can rest assured that on Christmas morning their children will have presents to open and there will be plenty of food for a holiday meal, thanks to the generosity and hard work of many volunteers including students from the Sandy Creek National Honor Society.
The NHS students, along with their adviser Casey Vallance, volunteer their time and energy each year to help local community groups wrap and box food as part of the holiday good will.
Peggy Manchester, who coordinates the annual distribution, said food boxes were packed for 116 families who signed up 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 just before the holiday.
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 and holiday music played as they worked feverishly to get the thousands of presents wrapped.
Boxes of wrapped presents piled 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 margarine for each family.
“I don’t know what we’d do without them,” Manchester said of the NHS student volunteers. “We are so thankful for their help.”
Student volunteers return again on distribution day to assist families and food pantry volunteers with transporting the packages and food boxes to the families’ vehicles for transport home.