Local Groups Make Holiday Wishes Come True
The holiday season is a time for traditions, and Sandhills Children's Center has been blessed with the support of friends and organizations that have made it an annual tradition to share their gifts of time and resources to make a child's holiday wish come true.
Each year, the students of The O'Neal Lower School present the Children's Center with decorative shoe boxes loaded with goodies for their very special children. The O'Neal students have been involved with Sandhills Children's Center through numerous volunteer activities throughout the year, and both schools benefit tremendously from the relationship that has been built over the years.
Jim Miles, head of the Lower School, says, "The parents of the O'Neal students who participate in this giving project always do so with full hearts and no questions asked. We all know how blessed we are to have what we have and more capable to fill a shoe box than others and more than happy to share with others less fortunate than ourselves. We can't think of a better group to share Christmas with than Sandhills Children's Center!"
Santa has been busy at the Children's Center this season. His first visit was with the Kiwanis of the Pines. Several members joined in the fun of helping Santa hand out to each child a carefully selected present, donated by The Little Toy Shop located in downtown Southern Pines.
The Kiwanis Club has been a long-time supporter of the Children's Center for over 20 years through their contributions from the annual Travel and Adventure Series.
Santa also roared into the school on his Harley Davidson flanked by over 200 members of the Wingmen Motorcycle Club. Dozens of gifts were shared along with warm wishes for a safe and happy holiday.
Santa's final stop was at the annual Children's Center Holiday Program held at the neighboring Sandhills Presbyterian Church.
The Golf Capital Chorus kicked off the program with traditional carols. The children then entertained families, staff and volunteers with songs of joy representing the holiday around the world.
"Our gifts have come in many different packages," says Kathy Desmond, director of development. "The latest addition to the Children's Center is a custom-designed playhouse built by Bowness Custom Homes. This very special house has touched many lives from two organizations that one would not ordinarily associate with each other."
The structure was built and donated to the 10th Annual Pottery Plus Auction benefiting the Hospice Foundation of FirstHealth of the Carolinas.
Laura Kelly Kite, member of the Children's Center Board of Directors and a parent of a child served at the Center, was the winning bidder of the playhouse. Kite generously donated the playhouse for all of the children who attend Sandhills Children's Center to enjoy for years to come.
"Isn't it amazing how one gift can open so many doors for children and adults in our community, who need a special hand during challenging times in their lives?" says Melanie C. Gayle, executive director. "Sandhills Children's Center has been the recipient of gifts from many friends and supporters throughout the local community during this season of giving. The staff and families of the Children's Center would like to extend a heartfelt thank-you to all who continue to believe that when you wish upon a star, dreams really do come true."
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