Board visit highlights role schools play in SAC

Board visit highlights role schools play in SAC
Dave Mast

Bob Porter, chairman of Holmes County Share-A-Christmas, shared with both the East and West Holmes school boards recently, focusing on the two districts’ involvement in the organization’s canned food drive.


For more than three decades, Bob Porter, chairman of Holmes County Share-A-Christmas, and many SAC people have worked as volunteers, presenting hundreds of families with food and gifts to children and brightening the lives of those who could benefit from a kind act and the compassion of a community that loves to give.

During that time Holmes County students in both the East and West Holmes school districts have been an integral part of providing the canned goods, with the annual canned goods food drive creating a mountain of food that is distributed to families early in December along with the toys.

In all those years, Porter has never had the opportunity to share with the area school boards concerning the important role each school district plays in the food-distribution process.

During both of the districts’ recent board meeting, Porter made it a priority to speak to the two boards about the accomplishments and the vision of Share-A-Christmas, as well as his gratitude to the school districts for their willingness to dive into the canned food drive with zeal each year.

Porter said a meeting with the two school boards was long overdue and something he was pleased to finally do, noting he may be the chairperson, but there are many spokes of the Share-A-Christmas wheel that are critically as important as the role he plays.

“The one thing the project clearly does is it’s a project that ignites the whole county, and it was time to let you know exactly what your schools are doing to help Share-A-Christmas be successful,” Porter said to the West Holmes school board members on Monday, March 20 at Nashville Elementary. “And it is your schools that have played an integral part of everything we as an organization can accomplish in reaching out to Holmes County families during the Christmas season.”

Porter said several board members went to West Holmes High School, and this past winter East Holmes school board member Steve Miller helped deliver to several homes during the Share-A-Christmas delivery day, so he knew they were familiar with the organization’s effort.

However, reiterating the extent to which the schools play a role in wrangling up canned items was something he was sure they weren’t aware of, at least not to the level to which the students have brought the program.

“Not only are these students stepping up and bringing in literally tons of food, (but also) our school principals and secretaries are doing an amazing job coordinating exciting and creative ways to challenge the students to invest in the canned goods drive,” Porter said.

Porter presented each board member with a detailed list of how Share-A-Christmas operates and the extent of how it impacts the families who receive the food and toys.

He said last year SAC touched the lives of 202 families during the Share-A-Christmas drive and more than two dozen after, providing toys, clothing and vouchers to 508 children.

He said the organization works with 42 area churches and businesses and receives volunteer work from a large volunteer committee, as well as services from groups like area Scouts, the West Holmes football team and more. In addition, there are many area businesses that meet a variety of needs.

However, Porter eventually turned his full attention to the canned goods drive in the schools. He said when the drive began, SAC used a couple pickup trucks to collect the food at the various schools. That then grew to a box truck, then a 26-foot enclosed truck, and currently, SAC uses a 26-foot truck to cruise around the county and collect its mountain of canned goods, which they take back to the Baker Building at Harvest Ridge.

The county tour volunteers begin in Holmesville, move throughout the schools in East Holmes, wind their way through West Holmes and end at West Holmes Middle School.

“What these kids bring in has been phenomenal,” Porter said, noting the former record before this year was around 17,000 pounds of food. Students across the county blew that number away in 2022, bringing in an SAC record of 18,550 pounds of food.

Porter said while Share-A-Christmas has served thousands of families in Holmes County, he knows they can do more.

“We serve a lot of families, but there’s still more people out there whose kids are going to bed hungry,” Porter said.

For more than three decades, Holmes County Share-A-Christmas has been relying on the kindness of families and dedication of students to impact families during the holiday season, and the organization continues to find ways to make a positive impact throughout the year.

Now both school district boards have a much better sense as to exactly how their schools are touching the lives of families right in their own schools.

Loading next article...

End of content

No more pages to load