Each year St. John’s Child Care Center likes to take on a group giving project to help our children realize the importance of helping others in need. For the past 20 years, St. John’s Child Care Center and the congregation of St. John’s Church have worked together on this special project during Advent.

This year we are once again partnered with our next door neighbors, Justice Page Middle School. Families have been identified by school social workers as “highly mobile/at risk” families. During winter break we assist those families to help make ends meet with food to prepare and gift cards to purchase food or clothing. Our goal is to provide each family with a backpack bursting with food, one Target gift card and one Cub gift card.

Food items included:  peanut butter, packets of tuna and chicken (lighter weight than the cans), cans of chunky soup/stew, canned ravioli, boxes or packets of dried noodle soups (again lighter than the cans), canned peaches, pears and pineapple, canned corn, apple sauce (plastic only), pudding snack packs, packets of hot cocoa mix, mac & cheese, small bags of brown rice, ramen, cereal: Cheerios, Shredded Wheat, Rice Krispies.

This year we also collected emergency clothing: sweatpants, boxer-style underwear and socks for boys; gray or black leggings, socks, and stretchy headbands for girls; toothbrushes, deodorant, and mini-Vaselines.

After the backpacks were filled, additional food donations were added to the existing food shelf at Justice Page Middle School. Additional gift cards are to be be given to families in need by the social workers on home visits.

This year’s Giving Tree backpacks were delivered to the school on Wednesday morning, December 18. By 1 p.m.that day, St. John’s had received this thank you note from Cassie Zonnefeld, a school social worker at Justice Page Middle School:

“A HUGE thanks to the St. John’s community for your generosity to our students and their families.  We were so excited to share the gifts that you gave to us today.  It is truly a blessing to partner with you.  Happy Holidays!”