WINNSBORO — Christmas morning contained more joy for a little girl and boy thanks to helping hands at the Fairfield County Career Center.
Students from the Future Business Leaders of America, led by Robbin Gilbert and by cosmetology instructor Vernell Gaither, worked to adopt two angels from a Department of Social Services angel tree.
“One of the little girls at school said she would have no Christmas,” said Dianne Stevenson with York County DSS, whose daughter Keanna, attends the Fairfield County Career Center.
These children, an 8-year-old and a 6-year-old, were from less fortunate families who were unable to provide Christmas. The students, Gilbert and the career center staff stepped up to help the families out.
The children on the angel tree requested arts and craft items, baby dolls, crayons a make-up kit and a coat. Whatever they asked for, there was at least one of those items in one of the bags around the tree.
The Angel Tree is the second community service project of the year for the school. The classes also are conducting an ongoing food drive that runs until Easter.
“It is important with a student who has an interest in health care and/or social work and helping professions to teach them to pay it forward, so to speak,” Stevenson said.
Each student who graduates from Fairfield County High School must have community service work and it starts in the ninth grade.
“It is a blessing to be able to help someone. When a child who does not have much and then someone offers them a lot then they feel great. It is great that you are able to help them,” said Keanna Stevenson.
She and her mother know that firsthand. When she was a little girl, she and her mother lost everything but the clothes on their backs in a house fire.
“People helped so much and we were blessed. It feels good to help out another family,” Dianne Stevenson said.
Stevenson and a DSS case manager will deliver the gifts to the waiting children.
Giving a jump rope really stood out in the mind of one student.
“Some kids enjoy outside fun and they go outside and see kids playing in other yards with toys, wishing they could have them. I want them to have outside fun, too,” said Jessica Foster, an 11th-grader studying animation. “I am blessed to have a lot compared to some and like to give back.”