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Naas Elementary students embrace giving season

Donated canned food, toys go to local families in need

By the end of last week, students arriving at Naas Elementary School marched proudly past the mounds of food and toys they had helped collect for local families in their community.

Naas Elementary joins other Oregon Trail School District schools in a canned food drive each holiday season. School administrators at Naas also set up a Christmas tree after Thanksgiving break covered in tags to spur students and families to donate toys for families in need.POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - Nicholas Mcintyre, Gentry Johnston and Norma Daniels brought in donated toys to Naas Elementary School to help their community.

As it does every year, Boring Fire Department collects the goods and delivers them to needy families in the community.

Naas Elementary Principal Kimberly Brooks said many of the students look forward to the food and toy drive throughout the year, and are eager when they return from Thanksgiving break to begin sharing with their community.

“They come in the doors after Thanksgiving, and there’s a lit tree with tags,” Brooks noted. “It runs itself. It spurs the excitement.”

In the two weeks following Thanksgiving, individual classes at Naas collected donations of canned food from students and tallied the results. In all, the school collected 2,006 items of canned food.

In addition to the canned food, students are asked to help gather toys for children in the community who may not be as well off as their peers. The Christmas tree in the Naas Elementary lobby holds 200 tags giving the age group of a boy or girl to buy for. Students are asked to check with an adult at home before they pick a tag to take home. Although a few parents pick up tags, it’s mostly students taking part on behalf of their families.

“Kids are very honest,” she said. “We do a lot at elementary school to encourage kids to make good decisions ... but we want to focus as well on other people and what we do for others.”

On the last day of the drive, Brooks estimated that out of 200, the tree only had 25 to 30 tags left. By the end of the two weeks, the tree was crowded with unwrapped toys ready to go to Boring Fire.

First-grader Norma Daniels brought in a baby doll and some cars to be donated by her family. POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - Toys, as well as canned food, collected for children during the schools recent drive will be delivered by Boring Fire to local families in need.

“Some homes need food and presents,” she said, adding that it’s important to give to others this time of year as it “makes our community more good and special.”

Norma, Nicholas and Gentry all said they brought in canned food in addition to toys to help their classes, and they will donate again next year.

Third-grader Nicholas Mcintyre delivered some Hot Wheels toy vehicles and a Lego set from his family, and fourth-grader Gentry Johnston dropped off some learning toys.

“My family likes to give every year,” Gentry said.

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