Wednesday, students from Skaneateles Middle School showed you're never too young to give back. Dozens of them filled the aisles of Wal-Mart picking out toys. They didn't bring any of them home, instead, they were given to 15 local organizations to help children and families in need. Our Iris St. Meran tells us about their lesson in community service.
CAMILLUS, N.Y. -- There's only one Santa. But he had dozens of pint sized helpers from Skaneateles Middle School patrolling the aisles of Wal-Mart in Camillus on Wednesday.
Skaneateles Middle School student Angela Krause said, "We've been picking up a lot of matchbox cars, dolls, board games. The simple things that every kid likes to play with."
No one knows better what items are fun to play with than kids themselves. These students are in sixth, seventh and eighth grades. With a budget of $14,000, they had their work cut out for them, but it was an assignment they enjoyed.
"Kids who don't have enough money to afford gifts, it's just nice to be able to shop for them and have them be able to have a great Christmas," said Skaneateles Middle School Student Lydia Parker.
When this event first started it helped one organization, but more than a decade later, 15 benefit from it.
Skaneateles Middle School Student Council Advisor Scott Stagnitta said, "It's unbelievable how many groups we can reach out to and help make Christmas, what we would consider a normal Christmas, give other kids a normal Christmas as well."
Stagnitta says this wasn't a test of who could pick out the latest and greatest gadgets, but an opportunity to show them they can make a difference. From the shelves to the cart to the checkout line, that message was well received.
"Be so thankful for what you have and they'll be so thankful as well, when they find all their presents on Christmas Day," said Parker.
These are small acts of kindness that you can't begin to put a price on.
The money to pay for these items came from the student council's fundraising efforts as well as donations from local organizations, including Todd's Fund, Friends of Dave Pirro and Wal-Mart.