Westside fourth graders donate for Christmas

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By Kate Darnell

Forgoing Christmas gifts to one another, Westside Elementary fourth graders decided to give to others in greater need.

The 60 students collected items for the Food Pantry and the Flora Shropshire Animal Shelter.

On a school bus early Monday, Dec. 15, they rode to the two locations to personally hand in their Christmas gifts.

“They were excited about coming,” said Food Pantry volunteer, Marilyn Wash. “Each child came in with a sack or can of food.”

“I was happy to let people out there know there are others who care about them,” said fourth-grader Kevin Barnett.

At the animal shelter, students handed in dog and cat food, paper towels, bleach, and kitty litter.

“They all said they were going to come back and get those animals,” said animal control officer Harold Poe.

Teachers Marilyn Willhoit, Ashley Muntz and Andrea Simpson said they received positive feedback from students when they presented the Christmas idea.

“They were much more generous than I ever expected,” said Willhoit.

The teachers came up with the idea to give to the two organizations last Christmas, and are hoping this will be a tradition that will be continued for years to come.

For these students, it’s a tradition that will continue outside the classroom.

“I think that everyone should give to the community, especially during the holidays” said fourth-grader Allison Conley.