CHILDERSBURG, Ala. – Childersburg Middle School teachers, along with Bates Enterprises, Inc., were able to give 19 students and their families Christmas gifts this year.
Childersburg Middle School (CMS) has always tried to sponsor their students for Christmas, but this year, CMS worked with Bates Enterprises to sponsor more students than ever before. The principal of CMS, Jena Jones, talked with Regan Bates, the Director of Sales/Technical Solutions at Bates Enterprises about what CMS was doing for their students. Bates said they at Bates Enterprises loved sponsoring families and decided together Bates Enterprises would donate to CMS. “It is just a wonderful way to give back to the community and show support to our students and families, and it was really a blessing to our entire staff,” Jones said.
Last year for Christmas, the CMS teachers were able to sponsor four children. That is about how many students they have been able to sponsor in the past because the teachers have been donating the money to buy gifts. Bates Enterprises was able to donate $3,500 this year, which is why 19 students plus their families were able to be sponsored.
To decide which students to sponsor, the teachers at CMS see which students are in need. Jones said the teachers know the students better than she does because they see them all day everyday, and know which students come from families in need. The guidance counselor reached out to the families of the nominated students to tell them what they wanted to do and to ask if it would be okay to do that for the teachers to sponsor them. The families seemed very grateful, excited, and overwhelemed the CMS staff were able to do this for them.
Two teachers spent two days shopping for 19 students with the donated $3,500, which is not an easy task. On the last day of school, Friday Dec. 15, the teachers laid everything out, and the parents came to pick up their kids and gifts after school. “We love our kids and our community and our families, and we want to do everything we can to support them, of course academically, but support their needs, as well. That’s what Christmas is all about, doing something for others.” The faculty at CMS do not exchange gifts with each other in order to reach out to their students in need instead. “It’s more of a blessing for us than it is for the families, being able to give to them,” said Jones. “We’re so grateful we are able to provide gifts for kids who may not have a Christmas, or may not get very much if it was not for this.”
After the teachers shopped, there was still money left. The teachers and Jones had to quickly decide what they could do with the leftover money for the families. Instead of buying something the families may not need, the CMS staff decided to buy gift cards to Wal-Mart for the families to buy food items, gifts, spend the money on their child, or whatever they could use the money for most.
None of this would have been possible without Bates Enterprises. Their generous donation made it possible for CMS to sponsor almost five times the students in past year. “We are so thankful we have a business like that locally who can reach out and help kids in our community. We’re so thankful they’re such a friend to us and our community,”Jones said.
Owner of Bates Enterprises, Greg Bates, also owns Bama Wear, an Alabama themed apparel store, located on Hwy. 280 in Childersburg.