Students helping make holidays merry and bright.

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - From gift boxes to food boxes, Nettleton teachers and students are doing their part for those in need.

"We want to make sure that they have enough to eat for two weeks while they're out of school," said Nettleton Middle School Counselor, Robin Nichols.

A collection of food, clothes and toys has been going on at every single school in the Nettleton School District.

"Everybody could use help.   I don't care what you're doing if you're employed or not, everyone can use help at Christmas time," said Nichols.

What makes this project even more special is who the collections are for.

"When the families come to pick this stuff up next week, that's when it really touches you," said Nichols.

Nichols says each school in the district has identified families that need extra help during the holidays. The donations from students, parents, and patrons of the district go right back to families in the district.

"We want the kids to know that Christmas isn't just a time for getting--it's a time for giving," said Nichols.

Though there have been some modifications to the event Bobbie Timmermann  says the district has been doing this type of event since the mid to late 80's.

"Our hope is that this will carry over into their adult life and they will continue wanting to help others," said Timmermann.

Timmermann says she hopes this event is a lesson and gift to those who give and receive.

"I think they get a sense of pride for having done something and having contributed to this," said Timmerman.

"It's just the most rewarding thing to know that we're helping students in our own school that we see everyday, we're helping them in a small way," said student, Mandi Bauer.

Officials say some of the older kids sell things like candy canes and the proceeds go towards buying things like milk and eggs for the families.  Of course the names of the families are kept confidential. Distribution of the food and gifts starts next week.

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