Class learns about spirit of giving

Heather Latter

After reading books about helping others and giving to those in need, students in Hue Eldridge’s Grade 2/3 at Robert Moore School here decided they wanted to make a difference for a local family this holiday season by sponsoring one through the Salvation Army.
“I’m so proud of them and how giving they are,” enthused Eldridge, noting she suggested the idea to Sponsor-A-Family with the commitment of $150 and the students were so excited.
The students have been earning money at home by doing chores and bringing in their contributions each week.
The money is counted each Friday, with the total being tracked on a bulletin board.
“It doesn’t matter how much we bring in because every little bit helps,” one of the students said.
But Eldridge indicated several of the parents have said their children have been very helpful at home—trying to do as much as they can to earn money to contribute to their goal.
The 19 students brought in about $55 the first week and nearly $57 last week to bring them just $38 within their goal.
And they still have two more weeks left to collect.
Eldridge and her students have decided that if they top their $150 goal, they will spend the additional funds on the Adopt-an-Angel program through Family & Children Services here.
“We’re doing this because we want to help another family be happy at Christmas,” said one student.
“And some families don’t have what we have.”
“And we will feel the difference in our hearts because we are thinking about others, instead of ourselves,” another added.
The class has been advised to take some time after opening their own presents on Christmas morning to reflect on the family that will have gifts and a nice meal because of their generosity.
“The have learned that there are lots of people in need—some right here in our community,” Eldridge remarked.
She also has taught the students about what it can be like in other countries such as Vietnam, where she came from as a little girl.
Capt. Angel Sandoval of the local Salvation Army also is pleased with the commitment from the class.
“It’s a great thing for kids to do,” he enthused. “And the best way to teach children about the need locally.”
About 200 area families have requested the need for Christmas hampers this year, but only about 35 have been sponsored or adopted by local individuals, businesses, or organizations so far.
People can help out the Salvation Arm by giving monetary donations (cash donations get a tax receipt) or, more specifically, through the two hamper programs: “Adopt-a-Family” and “Sponsor-a-Family.”
With the “Adopt-a-Family” program, the Salvation Army provides a profile of a family, along with a wish list for gifts for the children, and a food list, which includes a turkey, butter, canned vegetables, cereal, Christmas oranges, powdered milk, coffee/tea, bread and buns, potatoes, carrots, cheese, pancake mix and syrup, bacon and eggs, cranberries, stuffing, pasta, cookies, juice, chips, candy/nuts, chocolates, and a Christmas dessert,
The “adoptive” family then will gather the items, put together a hamper, and donate it.
Under the “Sponsor-a-Family” program, a benefactor may donate $225 to the Salvation Army to help a family of four, or $150 to help a “singles” family.
The Salvation Army will use that money to go out and purchase the things that are needed, then put the hamper together themselves.
“We still need more support from the community so we see no one in need this Christmas season,” Capt. Sandoval stressed.
Donations can be made, and families “sponsored” or “adopted,” by calling 274-3871 or dropping by the Salvation Army’s Citadel on Victoria Avenue (across from the clinic).