By Chris Siers
Every holiday season, there’s a need for helping the less fortunate. With the rising costs of goods and inflation, that rings true now more than ever.
But with that need is an endeavor to help out as the holidays approach.
The Bedford County School System is enacting an Angel Tree program of sorts to help locals this season and ensure every child has a magical Christmas season.
Learning Way Principal Christi Lux said with many families living below the poverty line, the support for giving children presents just isn’t there.
Learning Way, along with the other schools in Bedford County, aim to ease that burden on parents this holiday season.
“We provide help for not only our students but their younger siblings who may not be in school yet. We are seeking donations so we can buy these children necessities, toys and educational items,” Lux said.
Led by each elementary school’s counselor, several schools in the county are jumping in to help those in need.
“Although there are some wonderful corporations that contribute to all of the schools, the need often outweighs the donations. Most of our schools have wish lists that range from 40-150 children, and extra support is always needed,” Lux said.
Toys may be the first thing that pops up on a list for the angel tree, but Lux said there are many other needs, ranging from clothes to basic items such as pillows, that need to be met.
“Many of our children need winter clothing, coats, shoes and basic items like pillows and blankets. Not only do we provide things they need, we also buy a few items that they want (toys) and that can contribute to their education (books, flashcards, etc.),” Lux said.
“Most of our families are living below the poverty level and do not have enough money to provide their children with many, if any, presents.”
At Learning Way alone, there are an estimated 80-110 children in need of donations.
“Many of our families are going through rough times both personally and financially, and our students are feeling the impact. The holiday season is a magical time, and every parent/guardian deserves to experience the joy that comes from seeing children’s faces light up as they open gifts. As educators, we want to see all of our students thriving; if we can contribute to even a little bit of their happiness, then our job is even more meaningful,” Lux said.
“Although the financial need has grown significantly each year, the community continues to step up in support of the children in Bedford County. The contributions are truly heartwarming and exemplify the meaning of the season. We appreciate everything our county does to help these children have a wonderful Christmas.”
Those youth are once again in need of the community’s support to make this a successful Christmas season.
“We love opening it up to community members who enjoy shopping for these children,” Lux said.
Donations are preferred wrapped, but not necessary and can be sent to the school by December 13 at Learning Way Elementary Front Office, 200 Learning Way, Shelbyville, TN, 37160.
Monetary donations are accepted and checks can be made out to Learning Way.
For more information, or to become a sponsor for a child this holiday season, reach out to Learning Way guidance counselor Kimberly Malcom at firstname.lastname@example.org.