Last updated: December 18. 2013 8:22AM - 944 Views

Quanisha Simmons, Asia Jones, Shacoria Jones collect Christmas gifts for this year's “Blue Christmas” drive.
Quanisha Simmons, Asia Jones, Shacoria Jones collect Christmas gifts for this year's “Blue Christmas” drive.
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UNION COUNTY — Some needy families will receive some Christmas cheer thanks to the efforts of the students and staffs of two local educational institutions.

Union County High School and Union County Career Center participated in the 3rd annual “Blue Christmas” drive this month. “Blue Christmas” is a charity event hosted by the Union County FFA Chapter each year. FFA members, students and faculty collect non-perishable foods, gifts and clothes for a family in need.

During the first collection, in 2011, UCHS was able to collect more than 2,000 food items and every gift on the wish list of four elementary age girls. In the 2012 holiday season, the school was able to collect more than 3,000 food items and an abundance of gifts for the selected family. Because of the magnitude of items collected, the FFA was able to donate a large portion of the food items to high school students and families in need.

“I am so proud of the students in FFA and Agriculture Education classes,” FFA Adviser Ashley Dill said. “They have gone above and beyond to provide for the families we sponsor. They are a motivation to the students in our high school. Their efforts have not gone unnoticed.”

Due to the blessings and generosity they had encountered the previous two years, FFA officers and their adviser decided to provide for two families for the first time this year. In two weeks, FFA members have encouraged their teachers and classmates to donate hundreds of food items and more than 100 toys and clothing items. Gifts collected include a Hot Wheels racetrack, La La Loopsy dolls, a kitchen set, an Orbeez foot spa, Barbies, doll houses as well as clothing and shoes.

In the school wide collection for this year, the fourth period class of Mrs. Heather Kirby collected 149 items winning the competition. Excellent effort was put forth by Mrs. Sloss and Mrs. Ashley Jolly’s classes. The FFA Chapter will host a pizza party for the winning class upon return from winter break.

FFA members have been greatly impacted by the project.

“I worked so hard, because I love seeing the smiles on faces of the people we help,” said FFA member Brendon Cromer.

FFA member, Zach Quinn said, “I know how important Christmas is for small children. If I could help them get what they wished for, I was going to do it. Little children do not understand why their families cannot get their stuff.”

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