On Thursday, 40 coat-bundled 3- and 4-year-olds bounced off of Carrington Academy buses, arms laden with gifts for foster children their age or younger.
It’s the fourth year Carrington Academy has supported Angels Over Forsyth, a charity that focuses on helping children in need.
Each year, Carrington Academy pre-k classes travel to the charity storage space to drop off gifts and hear an Angels Over Forsyth spokesperson talk about the reasons for giving to the less fortunate.
“This year we talked about what December is for us, and how it’s not about Christmas or things like that, but it’s about giving,” said Nicole Razey, principal of Carrington Academy. “So we talked about giving back to the community and about how November is for being thankful and December is about giving back.”
Razey, herself a parent to a Carrington Academy student, hopes that the tradition will inspire a new generation of good Samaritans.
Razey said she has already seen the effects firsthand in her son.
“Last year [my son] said, ‘do you think that we can invite that little boy for Christmas. Because he doesn’t have a mom and dad?’” Razey said. “I think that Carrington starts this foundation of giving back to the community, so they can understand every year and want to give back.”
Each of the 40 Carrington students is responsible for the wish list of a child currently in a foster care situation and is tasked to buy that child the toys and gifts for Santa to deliver.
“How do you think it will make the little girl feel?” Razey asked Carrington student Emily Long, 3, after the event Thursday.
“Feel happy,” Long solemnly replied, saying that she helped her mom pick out a toy puppy for her child.
“This will probably be the only thing they get for Christmas,” said Kathy Goodberlet, director of Angels Over Forsyth, explaining how little foster families are reimbursed and how this can make presents at Christmas a problem.
“We have always been so lucky because this county is so generous [that] people are willing to step up and take on sponsorships,” Goodberlet said.
She went on to explain that one of the main problems they face is that people don’t know what to donate and that everyone wants to donate to young children.
But according to Razey, Carrington isn’t going to stop pitching in at Christmas any time soon.
“I just think that this is a great program,” Razey said. “It’s something we will continue to do as long as Carrington is Carrington.”