AUGUSTA---For the second year, St. Michael School in Augusta will team up with the Capital Region Salvation Army to distribute toys to over 200 local families in need on Wednesday, December 20.
Sixth, seventh, and eighth graders from St. Michael will participate in the day of service from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the school’s gym, located on 56 Sewall Street.
The event stems from the successful Thanksgiving partnership between the school and organization that annually provides over 150 Thanksgiving baskets, containing all of the fixings for a traditional meal, to community members.
Last year, the relationship extended to Christmas for the first time.
“When we were doing our distribution at Thanksgiving last year, representatives from the Salvation Army were looking at the size of our gym and wished aloud that they had a place like this to give out their Christmas toys,” said Kevin Cullen, principal of St. Michael. “I said, ‘How about this gym?’”
The work will begin on December 20 with the unloading of trucks of toys in advance of the arrival of the recipients. The gifts will include toys, educational supplies, board games, clothes, diapers, and bicycles. Large bags filled with the gifts are being numbered for each registered family who have made arrangements with the Salvation Army to receive them. The families must live in the Augusta area and meet financial requirements.
“Our students will never forget the look of happiness on the faces of these families when they receive Christmas toys for their loved ones,” said Cullen. “The hard work will last a day. That experience of seeing those smiles and knowing you helped create them will last a lifetime.”
Last year, as families picked up their presents, they were invited to write prayers on paper ornaments to be placed on a Christmas tree in the gym.
“God bless and thanks for making Christmas possible for my family,” one paper ornament read.