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School Communities Offer Holiday Support

 Dozens of gifts surround the Carolina Forest Elementary "Eagle Tree"
 Dozens of gifts surround the Carolina Forest Elementary "Eagle Tree."

Schools Assist Families at the Holidays

Hundreds of students in Onslow County had their holiday season made a little brighter with the help of school staff, parents and the community. Many schools across the county had an angel tree to assist families that may need a little extra help this year, while others partnered with community organizations or helped their families in other ways.  
An angel tree is a Christmas tree with angels, or some other type of ornaments, where each angel has the name of a child whose family needs help getting through the holidays. School staff collect information about the child’s interests, wants and clothing size, and donors can choose to sponsor a particular child or contribute to the tree as a whole.  
Jacksonville Commons Elementary, Carolina Forest Elementary, Southwest Middle, Hunters Creek Elementary, Hunters Creek Middle, Thompson Early Childhood Center, Morton Elementary, Heritage Elementary, Swansboro High and Swansboro Middle are among the schools that opted to support their families with angel trees this year. Though HCMS calls their tree a “Giving Tree” and Carolina Forest has an “Eagle Tree,” all of the schools were able to meet the needs of many of their students. Gifts collected for students include toys, electronics, sports equipment, clothing, makeup, shoes and more. Some schools, like Heritage Elementary, are even providing food and household items families may need. Heritage Elementary had what they called a “Giving Room,” where parents could pick up a quilt, food, cleaning supplies, books, toys and other things they may need for the holiday season.  
Schools that did not have an angel tree this season found other creative ways to lend a helping hand. Northwoods Park Middle School provided about 25 of its families with full holiday dinner boxes with a turkey and all the trimmings. Swansboro Elementary partnered with organizations in the community whose angel trees would benefit SBES students. Together, they were able to help 51 SBES families. 
Teachers, staff, parents, alumni and community organizations all came together to make this season of giving so successful. Organizations like the York Rite Masons, Delta Sigma Theta sorority, Omega Psi Phi fraternity, Simply Judi’s Hair Salon, Hem of His Garment, Swansboro Police Department and several churches across the area helped make holiday dreams come true this year.  
We would like to thank all who have made a difference for our staff, students and families this holiday season!  

The Heritage Elementary "Giving Room" is filled with food, household items and gifts for families in need
The Heritage Elementary "Giving Room" is filled with food, household items and gifts for families in need.