Santa, Frosty, The Grinch and some guards from the Lucasville Prison (SOCF) joined forces Thursday, Dec 21, at the Northwest Headstart, and shared Christmas joy with the children there. Excitement filled the little classroom as the children anticipated the fun that they were about to share.
The guards at SOCF put together a fund raiser to help get presents for the children at Northwest Headstart. SOCF Warden Ron Erdos was at the school, along with Steve Sturgill Executive Director of Community Action, Captain——and a few other guards were all there to watch the children on their special day.
Carol Cook, the teacher and administrator of this Headstart has said she has a bus driver and 2 aides plus a lunch aide, that work there with her and that she also had two volunteer foster grandparents who come in to help. She said that before they began the passing out of presents, that the visitors there today, sat down with the children and did crafts. She said that the children really loved it. Following the crafts, the children were all seated on the floor, while Santa and his helpers, including Superwoman, the sisters, Anna and Elsa from the movie Frozen, preparing for sharing of gifts from the guards.
Santa’s helpers called each child’s name and the child came up and sat on Santa’s lap and told him what they wanted for Christmas and then Santa gave each child a present. After receiving the gifts, the children were told to wait until every last one of them had a present to open. As soon as that happened, total wonderful chaos erupted as the children quickly ripped open the paper and squeels of delight filled the room.
When all the excitement and fun was done, all the little boys had a remote control car and each sweet little girls had a Baby Alive with accessories.
The parents and family that were there to watch this great giving of gifts were flashing cameras and speaking with their children as they were showing off their prized possessions around the room.
Sturgill said that the Northwest preschool has been in this location since 1993, and that the headstart program has been active in Scioto County since 1965.
Warden Erdos said, “This is the third year they have been doing this. The way it orginally started was that they had an employee’s children’s Christmas and we had a lot left over, so we reached out to the headstart and asked if they would want us to come out, they said, ‘sure come on out.’
We actually, this year, did a jail bail out and Terry Bracken, our operations person, organized it and we ended up raising over 1400 dollars.” He said that they had collected enough money, not only for this year’s celebration, but have enough to do this for the children next year also.
Warden Erdos went on to mention, “a lot of prisons use the inmates to help do this, but this was just done with the guards to give back to the community.” Erdos pointed to Captain Tim Howard and said he was the one who raided the money, and Howard said, ‘“We raised $1400 dollars!” and with a little humor he said, “I heard one little girl say, ‘I wanted the car.’ ” What a great job they all did to make these small folks day and Christmas a little more special.
The little ones make the Christmas holidays, bright and shining, without their smiles and wonderful shining faces, it just would not be the most wonderful time of the year.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins 740-353-3101 ext. 1928