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Sanctuary on 8th Street Students of the Week

4:22 PM, Dec 16, 2009   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Since it is the holiday season we decided to do something a little different for Student of the Week. We are honoring students who have to work extra hard every day because they usually arrive at school hungry.  The kids at The Sanctuary on 8th Street are our Students of the Week.

On the day we visited the kids at The Sanctuary on 8th Street, it wasn't a typical afternoon.  There was something extra special going on for the kids. 

A ladies group at South Jacksonville Presbyterian Church in San Marco wanted to give the children a Christmas party, complete with an old fashion Christmas dinner. 

There were lots of activities and games outside and arts and crafts inside the building. "I'm making a candy cane and I made a pattern of beads. We're going to hang it on the Christmas tree," said one of the students.

Ashley Johnson, a members of South Jacksonville Presbyterian, helped organize the event.

Johnson said they want to give the kids something they don't normally get, "...because they normally don't get a Christmas dinner. So it was important to us that we found something and gave this to them."

After all the fun and games, it was time to sit down for Christmas dinner.  The ladies at the church each made a special dish; turkey, ham, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes. 

Every child also got a special Christmas present to take home to their family.  It was a special time for everyone.

"I feel blessed we were able to give this to them. They are really sweet kids," said Angela Lopez, a church member. 

The kids, all 45 of them, enjoyed their special meal. For many of them, this will be the only Christmas dinner they will get this holiday season.  

"Thank you for the food," said one little boy as he took a big bite of collard greens. 

The 45 students at The Sanctuary range in grades from kindergarten to 12th.  They live in some of the poorest neighborhoods in Jacksonville.  The Sanctuary gives them a place to go after school, a place where they can work on their homework, enjoy activities, and have something to eat before they head home. 

First Coast News

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