In the true spirit of the holiday season, one local church donated presents to every child in Triton Elementary School. Students from kindergarten to sixth grade received and opened presents recently not only as a way to honor the holiday, but as a way to honor the selflessness of students at the school.
According to Jordan Ickes, minister at Etna Green Church of Christ, the donation was made possible through the efforts of Terri Brandt, who runs a food pantry in Plymouth. According to Ickes, Brandt had received several thousand dollars worth of toys and approached Ickes for assistance in how to distribute the toys.
With the help of church leaders, the two were able to purchase additional toys such as balls, balloons, bouncy balls, kick balls, loom bracelets and bubbles. Through the help of the church, Brandt and Ickes were able to purchase enough toys for every student to receive multiple gifts.
“The bottom line for us as a church is to put love where love is not,” said Ickes. “We care very deeply for kids in our community and wanted them to know they are special. Every box has a note telling them they are special, they are loved and to enjoy their break and holiday. We wanted to bless and honor them and encourage the generosity of the Triton kids.”
Gifts were delivered Tuesday, Dec. 17, and were opened on Wednesday. Students also received a special visit from Ickes on Friday during their Christmas convocation. According to Triton Elementary School Principal Jeremy Riffle, Ickes explained to the students that part of the reason they were given the gifts was due to the work the students had done in the community.
“This vision started in November when Jordan Ickes heard that we were involving the whole school in the fourth grade service project of Operation Christmas Child,” explained Riffle. “He felt is was a great lesson to teach the students that when you give a gift expecting nothing in return, you are sometimes blessed yourself.”
After much planning, the vision of creating 466 boxes for Triton Elementary Students came true. Each box had a student’s name on it. One of the cool ‘behind-the-scenes’ stories, according to Riffle, is the fact that the school received a new student the day after the boxes were distributed and that next day a box was brought for that student.