Oak Mtn. students are champion givers

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 6, 2005

&8220;It is every man’s obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it.&8221;

&8212; Albert Einstein

When it comes to setting the standard for fundraising, Oak Mountain Middle School has created the national benchmark. This year’s Toys for Tots campaign at the school raised a remarkable $37,335 for needy children throughout our area, setting a record for the largest school donation ever raised in the United States. Since beginning the annual effort in 1999, the school has raised more than $126,000.

According to the Toys for Tots organization, local campaigns are conducted annually in nearly 500 communities covering all 50 states. Each Christmas since 1947, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve coordinators, with the assistance of local social welfare agencies, church groups and other local community agencies, have distributed toys to the needy children throughout the United States.

You can be sure that students, led by Oak Mountain Middle School’s National Jr. Honor Society, did not set out to be &8220;national champions&8221; of Toys for Tots giving; more likely, they set out to make a difference in the lives of others. And what a difference they have made.

Picture the excitement of children bounding down the stairs on Christmas morning with the enthusiasm only found in a child.

There they find presents neatly wrapped with festive paper and colorful ribbons of red and green. Just imagine the smiles of children and parents alike on Christmas morning.

Now imagine the scene without the initiative of these Oak Mountain Middle School students. Yes, they have made a significant difference.

It comes as no great surprise that the national record for school giving was set here in Shelby County; we have all known the generosity and initiative of our friends and neighbors.

And, certainly, the families touched by that generosity have experienced first hand the difference made.

Students, faculty, parents and administration of this fine school are to be applauded not only for what they have done for others but for how they have done it. They have made a difference in the lives of many families this Christmas