Vinemont Schools’ Christmas Love to help 70 kids

Vinemont Elementary School Principal Kim Brown and School Counselor Lanza Willoughby pose for a photo. (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

VINEMONT, Ala. – ‘Tis the season for giving, and thanks to big hearts and Christmas Love, students at Vinemont Schools who might have gone without will instead have a Merry Christmas. The Christmas Love program is dedicated to serving children who are dealing with financial hardships by recruiting sponsors and raising money for gifts for these children. 

Vinemont Elementary School Counselor Lanza Willoughby estimates that Christmas Love will be able to assist around 70 children this year.

She said, “I’ve talked to two or three families today in tears and so thankful that we are doing this and that the community is involved in helping them out because they wouldn’t have had Christmas.”

This year the elementary school partnered with Vinemont Middle School to make sure as many kids who need help have the opportunity. Community members can sponsor a family or donate money toward Christmas Love. Organizers said community participation has been great this year and any leftover funds will be saved for any emergency situation or to help a child who might need help at another time throughout the year. 

The faculty and staff at Vinemont Schools are dedicated to taking care of the kids they care for every day.

Said Willoughby, “If I see a kid in need, (Vinemont Elementary School Principal) Mrs. (Kim) Brown and the faculty are the same way, we will do whatever we can do to help that child.”

The school’s student council got involved, too, by raising several thousand dollars for Christmas Love. 

“Some people have more money than time and some have more time than money,” Willoughby said.

This year most of the sponsors will do the shopping for the kids and their families, but Willoughby and the other volunteers will be doing the shopping for a few. 

There is a special joy that is experienced by giving to children in need, said those involved in the effort.

Willoughby explained, “My own girls thank me and are very appreciative for what they get, but they aren’t like, ‘Oh my gosh! This never happens!’ Some of these kids, you have that, and it’s what Christmas is all about.”

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Christy Perry