Feed the Children gifts 400 Elkhart families with winter necessities

Feed the Children// WSBT 22 Katlin Connin

The holiday season can be a stressful time for many families. Between heating bills and presents, the cost of Christmas can pile up.

One organization is making sure local families can relax around the holidays.

Feed the Children donated an entire semi-trailer full of goodies to Elkhart Community Schools.

Volunteers unloaded enough boxes to feed 400 families.

Leaders with Feed the Children say they want to worry about the groceries so kids can worry about being kids.

"Right before the holidays, we know that there's a lot of families through the Elkhart School District that need a little extra help and we're here to provide that help for 400 families,” said Darlene Anderson with Feed the Children.

That help includes boxes of food like mac and cheese and spaghetti. There are also boxes of toiletries.

"Shampoo, toiletries. We have shaving cream, shavers in there. It's the type of things that we kind of take for granted every day, the toiletries that people need on a daily basis,” said Anderson.

With these bitter cold temperatures kids need more than food and a hot shower to stay warm.

"There's a lot of kids in our community that are walking to school with just a hoodie because their parents can't afford a jacket or hats and gloves for them,” said social worker, Jami Presswood.

Someone donated half a dozen boxes of winter coats in all sizes. Donations like these lift a huge burden from parents' shoulders.

"People want to get things to their kids and so hopefully if they're not having to buy some of these groceries that we're going to provide today I’ll be able to get some things for their kids for Christmas," Anderson said.

"I've had some drop to their knees in tears, total emotions and just very grateful and thankful that we were able to step up and help them out during a very stressful time,” Presswood explained.

Even though it was cold Wednesday, even though these boxes are heavy, each volunteer had a smile.

"I love it it's one of my most favorite times of the year to deliver the presents this week and see the emotions on the families and to relieve some of the stress on them,” Presswood said.

"Just being a part of that I feel like I don't go to work every day, it's just something that I get to do every day,” Anderson said.

Social workers at each building in the Elkhart Community School system look out for students and families who might need a little extra help.

Presswood is a social worker at Westside Middle School. She says she chose four families that are pretty large.

She hopes these donations will help them have a Merry Christmas.

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