Students who don't have much, make Christmas special for those in need
Pam Dodd knows the feeling of not knowing what might be under the Christmas tree. Dodd's parents divorced when she was young, and she lived in a single-parent house.
"We were always making our lists and saying all the things we wanted, and it is almost like you can see the stress on her face," Dodd said. "She would always say, 'we will have to wait and see.'" "I remember that as a child, and she wanted to make sure we had a Christmas, but at the same time, I can see the financial strain being the eldest in our family that it was cutting on our household. Looking back on that now as an adult over 50, I realize that there are a lot of kids that are in the same situation."
Back in 2011, she created the non-profit, Kids Loving Kids. The organization encourages kids and teens to give to others less fortunate. A few weeks ago, she reached out to Harmony School Principal Kevin Sullins asking if the students would want to donate to the cause this year. Students and other members of the community brought in numerous toys and clothes. What makes this different than other donations is that more than 75% of the students at the school are on free and reduced lunches.
"We do not have a lot of things, but what we do have, we would like to share," Sullins said. "This just goes to show that any kid, anyone, can help anybody. It does not matter if you are rich or poor or anything. We just wanted to show that, and our school has responded."
Students like Lexi Russell brought in gifts that have a great deal of sentimental value. Her's was a stuffed animal.
"It was kind of hard to let go because it was my favorite toy, but I gave it away because I thought it was better for them to have it than me," Russell said.
"I brought in a Nintendo DS," Nathan Rea. "It was a really good one, but I thought they deserve the better one because I did not want to give them the bad one because they are fighting for their life right now, and I think they deserve to have the better one so they can be happy and have fun."
All the items students brought in will be given to Cullman County kids this weekend.
"It is amazing that so many people care about not just themselves, but other people," Lily Reesedollar said.