Christmas is a time for celebration. a time when Santa and his elves wrap gifts and send them out to all the good little boys and girls. This year West High's Business club teamed up with East High's HOSA and tennis team at Central Services to play Santa’s elves. Close to 100 students volunteered their time to box food and pick out gifts for children in Hamblen County. Each child will receive three toys along with their family receiving a box of food when they arrive to collect the toys. Central Services received almost exactly 3,000 toys, meaning 1,000 children in Hamblen County will receive gifts this year. There were food boxes which the students packed full of canned goods, flour, sugar, gravy, and boxed baked goods, not only will the family receive this but when they show up they will also be handed fresh fruits, spiral ham, and rolls. With all the help from the students, over 400 boxes of food were able to be packed Making it possible for the children and their families to have a fulfilling Christmas.
How much of an impact do these donations make? For starters the poverty rate in America is 13.4%. Director of Central Services Ashley Hux said,“ The poverty rate in Hamblen County alone is 18%.” There are over 65,000 Hamblen County residents. With these statistics, close to 12,000 residents are faced with the struggle of poverty. Lots of these families that fall under the poverty line can not afford food, hygiene products, let alone gifts for Christmas. To learn more about volunteering or even donating to Central Services, one can visit them on their website at mhcentralservices.org. There you can find their phone number and locations. Not only does Central Services have holiday programs such as this one, they also have a thrift store and food pantry for people living or working in Hamblen County.