At Euchee Creek Elementary School, teachers are giving more than instruction to Columbia County children. They're also making sure some of them have a nice Christmas
Linda Hammond is the Christmas Program chairwoman for the Columbia County Foundation for Children.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"There are needy families in Columbia County," Euchee Creek Elementary special education teacher Katy Yeargain said. "We tend to think of Richmond County and other surrounding counties as needing more, but we do have children here at home that need us as well."
Year-gain and other teachers in Columbia County are participating in the Columbia County Foundation for Children Christmas Program to provide gifts to needy children.
Teachers or high-school clubs from nearly every school in the county are adopting needy families for the Christmas Program. They are given children's clothes sizes and a list of toys to purchase for them.
"One of the things that really attracted us to the Columbia County Foundation for Children is that all the gifts go to children from Columbia County," Yeargain said. "We like to take care of our own. We teach in Columbia County. Most of us live in Columbia County. That was appealing to us."
The program also allows educators to teach a lesson in charity by their example.
"One of our school improvement goals is to improve citizenship and community effort among our school body," Euchee Creek Elementary guidance counselor Pam Edmondson said. "The students know what we're doing and they see all these gifts coming in. We talk to them about it. They know we teachers feel like it's important to serve others and to be good citizens.''
Last spring, Linda Ham-mond, the Christmas Program chairwoman, approached guidance counselors from county elementary schools and asked for their help. The response was tremendous, she said.
"Last year, I was desperate for sponsors," Hammond said. "This year, I have more sponsors, so far, than I have families."
The foundation provided Christmas assistance to 168 families, almost 500 children, for Christmas 2003. So far this year, they are preparing to help 130 families and a total of more than 300 children.
Needy families are referred to the foundation through an application process. The group will continue taking referrals for another month. For more information, or to provide assistance, call 863-4888.
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