Joy abounds as local church gives to Copperview Elementary
Dec 01, 2017 08:00AM
● By Julie Slama
Thanks to Mountain View Christian Assembly, Copperview Elementary students will receive gifts this holiday season as they have for the past couple years. (Jenna Landward/Copperview Elementary)
This holiday season, Copperview Elementary students will have the chance to unwrap gifts brought to them by Mountain View Christian Assembly parishioners.
About 475 students will be given presents—one of need and one of desire—to unwrap after the school’s annual sing-along. The gifts for these school children come from about $12,000 in donations and money set aside by Mountain View Christian Assembly.
“We are very grateful for these gifts,” said Jenna Landward, Copperview Elementary community school facilitator. “The kids just love it. The whole school has a wonderful time celebrating right before break.”
This is the fourth holiday season Mountain View Christian Assembly has provided “Christmas is for Kids” for Copperview and although many are familiar with this, there are new students who enjoy the surprise, she said.
“Every year, whether they know or not, these kids are so excited. Last year, in preschool, a girl opened a pair of pink socks and said, ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve always wanted a pair of socks.’ She was so excited. And a boy said, ‘I love socks.’ They were so grateful and that makes it so meaningful,” Landward said.
With 87 percent of the Title I school on free and reduced lunch, Mountain View Christian Assembly Pastor Jonathan Lang said that helped the church’s decision to provide for those students.
“I did this at the church I was at in Maine,” Lang said. “So when I moved here, I talked to town officials to find out where the needs are in our community. One of the first places I learned about was Copperview.”
Together with the school, plans for gifts first were established. Since then, every year students have received a “need” —warm socks, hats, gloves—and a “want,” which they can indicate if they’d like a game or book; creative gift such as Legos or PlayDoh; arts and crafts kit or something similar from a provided list. The gifts average about $30 per student.
The church also provides additional warm clothing, such as coats, for those children who are lacking any and have given teachers gift cards as well. Lang said that area retailers work closely with the church to provide for the students.
“A number of students don’t have a single thing they’ll get for Christmas and that brings tears to my eyes so it makes me so happy we can provide for them. The gift of God giving his son is how we’re mirroring it with presents to commemorate it. These children already are facing the realities in life so if we can bring clarity and joy, it fills my heart,” Lang said.
Before the gifts are presented, Copperview staff and faculty join Mountain View Christian Assembly church members and community volunteers in wrapping all the presents.
“We have about 60 or 70 volunteers, wrapping presents in the church to Christmas music and drinking hot chocolate and are celebrating these children. The gifts fill the front of our sanctuary,” he said. “We love to partner with those in our community to ensure everyone has a fun and loving Christmas.”
Landward said that students have made thank-you cards, telling the church how much they appreciate the gifts.
“It’s a lesson on being grateful and on giving,” she said. “It shows that the community cares about our students and makes for a wonderful holiday season.”