SCHS FFA helps families during holidays with Santa Buddies program

Shelby County High School students helped fill stockings for families in need through the Santa Buddies program during the holidays. (Contributed)

Shelby County High School students helped fill stockings for families in need through the Santa Buddies program during the holidays. (Contributed)

FROM STAFF REPORTS

COLUMBIANA–This year, many children woke up on Christmas without presents due to financial hardships and for other reasons.

To help children experience the joy of Christmas, Shelby County High School organizations such as FCCLA, FBLA, and FFA all pulled together to help these families with Santa Buddies.

The FCCLA handmade stockings and the FBLA and the FFA personally filled the stockings with items such as toys, coloring books, and other items. Santa Buddies is a Christmas supplement to Back Pack Buddies for the elementary and middle schools that feed into Shelby County High School.

Back Pack Buddies started with five courageous, caring women from the Junior League of Birmingham who met at Inverness Vineyard Church for their service project every other week filling 168 back packs for this program to send food home with kids who may not get anything to eat over the weekend.

The program targets children ages 5-12 who are on free or reduced lunches in public schools. The Shelby County High School FFA, FCCLA and FBLA are collecting and donating items for these children for this coming up year.

Mrs. Rays FCCLA group hand makes the stockings every year to fill with fruit, candy, coloring books and hot chocolate, which the FFA donates through fundraising to buy the items.

Buds Best Cookies donates cookies to fill the stockings as well. The Shelby County FFA packs approximately 90 stockings for students that go to Wilsonville, Shelby, Elvin Hill Elementary and Columbiana Middle School.

“Besides helping the Back Pack Buddies get a little something for Christmas, it also shows the students involved here at Shelby County High School, that giving is better than receiving,” Mr. Cleckler, the Shelby County High FFA Advisor said.