N.C. students try to make Christmas brighter

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By Cindy DiFazio

Staff writer/photographer

There were elves aplenty in Suzanne Cates second grade class last week.

Cates’ 20 students split into groups of four, cheerfully working on their Giving Back Project  — helping to fill the needs of some local charitable organizations.

Bilivia Kestner helped load chew toys, leashes, pet food, towels and blankets into a giant Christmas stocking for the humane society. “It makes me happy,” she said, “and it helps the animals.” “We collected food, blankets and towels,” Michael Harp said.

At another table, Linda Fisher and her group drew colorfully wrapped presents under hand drawn Christmas trees on cards for Homestead Nursing Home residents. “Coloring is my very best,” she said. “They’re going to be really happy.” 

“Mrs. Cates printed out paper from the internet that had poems on it,” Owen Berry said. The class made a total of 60 cards, three apiece, to hand out personally.

They also purchased items to aid the Family Resource Center.

“We got underwear, socks, tee shirts, (toiletries),” Madison Dockter said. “We collected soap, different lotions and different shapes of soap,” Zachary Brown said.

Cates said the children had saved money from the Fall Festival where their basket received a winning bid of $110, as well as PTO funds, $30 from recycling cans and individual donations. “We decided we were going to help people for Christmas,” she said.

“We talked to our parents,” Will Huckaby said, “and decided it would be nicer to give than receive.”

“Yeah, to give stuff that we gathered,” Justis Berry said.

The class looked forward to hand delivering the gifts and cards. “We’re taking a big field trip to deliver all the gifts,” Cates said, “then we’re going to DQ to get ice cream.”


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