Christmas Spirit is in the air this holiday season as local teens help to fund and carry out the 11th Annual “Kids Helping Kids Christmas Program” for foster care youth.
The program is a collaborative organized effort by the ACT NOW Kids Helping Kids Committee of Roscommon County. The 3-event project to help Santa and Mrs. Claus shop, wrap, and deliver gifts to forty-one children from Roscommon County, focuses on the gift of giving as it culminates with a Christmas Dinner and Program for the children and their foster care families.
Students joined together from Charlton Heston Academy, Houghton Lake High School, and Roscommon High School representing Houghton Lake Rotary Interact Club, Roscommon Rotary Interact Club, and the Roscommon County Community Foundation Youth Advisory Council to provide the helping hands for the Christmas Program.
The shopping event was held on Thursday, December 5th at the Houghton Lake Walmart store where the caring staff gave a generous discount for the program. The students met at the vision center where they received cards with Christmas wishes on them and had an hour to shop. Each gift was carefully thought out by each one of the students. The program coordinator Jamie Mead said, “Every year I am renewed by the generosity and kindness shown for our children and families through the Kids Helping Kids Program. This opportunity would not be possible without our community partners and the hours of time volunteered by our local youth. I am grateful to share in a service project that has lasting impact for all those involved.”
On Sunday, December 8th, the teens wrapped the gifts and filled goody bags at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church in Roscommon, whose members donated the use of the church to benefit the program. The ACT NOW Kids Helping Kids Committee provided pizza and pop to everyone that evening as they wrapped the presents that were purchased just days before.
The students helped out as elves, during the Saturday, December 14th, Christmas Event that was also held at Good Shepherd, where they served and took part in the turkey dinner that was generously donated and prepared by benefactors. They also assisted Santa and Mrs. Claus by passing out presents to the children as they greeted and interacted with each child receiving gifts.
The Kids Helping Kids program has been a huge success during each of its charitable years. The student volunteers look forward to this event each year to provide joy to the children and their families while working together to promote peace and goodwill.