Oak Ridge eighth graders buy Christmas gifts for 500 children

Oak Ridge eighth graders buy Christmas gifts for 500 low-income children

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Students drew ornaments and brought in a gift for that child. Students drew ornaments and brought in a gift for that child.
"I get a lot of presents every year and I think other children should get an opportunity to get presents too and feel that they're loved," said Madelyn Fahhoum, an eighth grader at St. Mary's School. "I get a lot of presents every year and I think other children should get an opportunity to get presents too and feel that they're loved," said Madelyn Fahhoum, an eighth grader at St. Mary's School.
More than 500 children will receive the presents this year. More than 500 children will receive the presents this year.
"I'm very excited. It makes me feel very happy that they get something instead of worrying about what they're gonna get for Christmas and how much they're gonna get," said Lindsey Riikola, an eighth grader at St. Mary's School. "I'm very excited. It makes me feel very happy that they get something instead of worrying about what they're gonna get for Christmas and how much they're gonna get," said Lindsey Riikola, an eighth grader at St. Mary's School.

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

OAK RIDGE (WATE) - Students in Oak Ridge are making Christmas wishes come true for hundreds of East Tennessee children their very own age.

Eighth graders at St. Mary's School collected Christmas presents for low-income families who might not otherwise be able to buy gifts for their kids.

The brand new toys filled the front hallway of St. Mary's School Wednesday morning.

They surrounded what the school calls their "Giving Tree." The Christmas tree is covered in ornaments that each bear the name of a less-fortunate child.

Students drew ornaments and brought in a gift for that child.

"I've participated in this since Pre-K and I remember bringing in my gift and putting it and putting it under the tree and going wow, look at all those presents," said Madelyn Fahhoum, an eighth grader at St. Mary's School.

Wednesday morning, students loaded every new truck, doll and board game into cars, prepping them for delivery.

Children in need will tear into these gifts at a Christmas party for low-income families, hosted by the Crazy Quilt Friendship Center in Jellico.

"A lot of children, we've been told, this will be their only Christmas gift, what they receive at the party," said Marsha Sega, the eighth grade teacher at St. Mary's School.

These students can't imagine other children having nothing to open on Christmas morning.

"I get a lot of presents every year and I think other children should get an opportunity to get presents too and feel that they're loved," said Fahhoum.

They like knowing they're making Christmas happen for children just like them.

"I think it's gonna make them feel really good that people actually care and take the time to go out and buy gifts for them," said Darryl Bonner, an eighth grader at St. Mary's School.

"I'm very excited. It makes me feel very happy that they get something instead of worrying about what they're gonna get for Christmas and how much they're gonna get," said Lindsey Riikola, an eighth grader at St. Mary's School.

More than 500 children will receive the presents this year.

The children who attend the Christmas Party at Crazy Quilt Friendship Center will also get to meet Santa and receive a goody bag, on top of the gifts they'll receive from these students.

For more information about Crazy Quilt Friendship Center, visit their website.

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