SOUTHERN COLORADO — Students in Lewis-Palmer School District 38 are giving back this holiday season by partnering with local businesses to collect toy donations for families in need.
Every year at Ray E Kilmer Elementary School, Mrs. Yates fourth-grade class participates in a holiday gift exchange but this year they decided to do things a little differently.
"They wanted to donate gifts for kids because they realized they're lucky to be here in person. So they started bringing in toys over the next few weeks," said Dana Yates, Fourth-Grade Teacher at Ray E Kilmer Elementary School.
The students understanding the bigger need because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"They might not get that many toys and might have fun with one toy. It would be good for them," said Braden Colgate.
Yates heard about the toy drive from her kids' dentist's office, Pine Top Orthodontics. This year, the business decided to partner with Christmas Unlimited for their holiday toy distribution program.
"This year there was a great need for Christmas Unlimited because sites were down, donations in general but the need has never been greater," said Russell Ford, Owner of Pine Top Orthodontics.
"We have all of the materials to disinfect everything so it was the perfect pairing. We decided its something we can do for others in the community that typically do, but can't this year," said Ryan Frost, Owner of Pine Top Orthodontics.
Christmas Unlimited distributes toys to families in El Paso and Teller Counties in a store-like environment, empowering parents to select gifts for their children. With the help from Yates and her class, the dentists' office collecting dozens of donations.
"Being a teacher isn't just about academics but teaching them values, characteristics, and being a kind human being," said Yates.
With only a week to collect donations, Pine Top Orthodontics encouraging more donations to be dropped off at their office located at 475 Briar Village Point #315.