FWBHS Christmas Connection Serves 60 Families and 178 Children
The Fort Walton Beach High School Christmas Connection Community Service Program just completed its twentieth year. The program provides less fortunate local families with gifts, non-perishable food, and perishable food during the holiday break.
“In preparation for the annual Christmas Connection program, our Leadership students embark on raising money, conducting food drives, and working with local grocer, Piggly Wiggly, to secure a perishable food pack,” said Leadership Program Sponsor, Brian McDaniel. “This year the students raised $25,000 in a 2 1/2-month period and serviced 60 families and 178 children.”
The Christmas Connection program assigns each family to a small group of leadership students. The students meet with the families and get a wish list from the kids for Christmas Gifts.
On December 19th, McDaniel and the Leadership students went to Walmart to shop for the children’s Christmas gifts, spending approximately $19,000. After Walmart, it was back to the school to wrap/personalize the gifts, gather all the nonperishable food items collected for each family, and then off to Piggly Wiggly to pick up the perishable food, which included a 12-14lb turkey, milk, bread, eggs, and butter. The students then set out to deliver their gifts to their families.
Since 2016, the Fort Walton Beach Leadership program has serviced 282 families and 708 children.