Posted December 21st, 2018
By. Garrett Bridgens
As the last week of school before winter break finished up, teachers and staff at two South Lane schools were busy wrapping and delivering gifts to students.
Bohemia Elementary and Lincoln Middle School continued their annual tradition of giving gifts to students who might not otherwise receive gifts for the holidays.
Lincoln Middle School organizer Jan Jacobs said that two now retired staff members started their tradition over 25 years ago. She said it started with buying gifts for 3 or 4 children and has now blossomed into buying gifts for 65 to 70 children this year.
“It’s awesome on the one hand and it’s sad on the other, you know, that we are buying for kids who would not normally have a decent Christmas. I wish we didn’t have to buy one gift,” said an emotional Jacobs.
Bohemia organizers Stephanie Randall and Patty Wilson say that their tradition started about seven years ago with buying a few gifts for children with this year buying gifts for about 95 students including any younger siblings that may live at home.
Randall said that doing this every year is something that is really close to her heart.
“Children can never have enough. They can never have enough love, and never have enough support. And, this is one way, during sometimes a really hard season in life, and in the year for families, that we can show children that we love them and support them,” said Randall.
Organizers at both schools work with teachers to identify students who might be down on their luck; contact their parents to ask for permission, fundraise, and shop for the gifts. Teachers work with families to figure what to buy for the students. The staffs then come together to wrap and deliver the gifts.
Both schools raised a combined $3500 with the bulk of donations coming from staff, families, community members and local businesses.