Kids learn about giving, help families enjoy Thanksgiving

By Lee Stephens….

Members of the Concordia Lutheran Church congregation, with support of the community, helped 250 families enjoy Thanksgiving.

This Thanksgiving, 250 families from one of the poorest neighborhoods in the county enjoyed a holiday meal thanks to a group of volunteer parents, teachers and young children at Concordia Lutheran School who are learning that through their hard work and generosity they can make a difference.

Their spirit of giving has become so contagious that the Angel Share project inspired the congregation at Concordia Lutheran Church to help by collecting canned goods and donations. A number of local businesses such as Whole Foods in Pinecrest and AT&T also offered contributions to help the volunteers meet their goal of 250 Thanksgiving baskets.

The team of volunteers delivered the baskets to families anxiously awaiting their arrival Nov. 23 at Laura C. Saunders Elementary School.

Newly elected State Rep. Frank Artiles co-founded the charity ( effort with his wife, Aimee, to help teach their own children about the importance of giving back to those less fortunate.

“I am so proud of the efforts of our children, teachers and local business partners working together to feed families in need during these tough economic times,” Rep. Artiles said.

With a school of less than 125 students, committing to the creation of 250 baskets was quite an undertaking for the volunteers of Angel Share.

However, with the kids’ hard work, the generosity of family and friends and amazing corporate goodwill, the children prepared to load the baskets for delivery at Laura C. Saunders Elementary School in Florida City. Last year, Angel Share raised $5,000 for CHARLEE, a local agency offering foster care services. This year, the charity has committed to raising money and donating necessary items for the children and families at Laura C. Saunders Elementary.

“Angel Share charity was born to inspire our children to develop and execute simple fundraising projects in an effort to help local families in need,” said Concordia Lutheran’s director Suzanne Cohen. “It’s truly amazing for the kids to see the tangible results of all their hard work.”

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