by: Chrystal Blair, Ozarks First

This time of year can be especially tough for families having trouble making ends meet.

That’s why one local school district is pitching in to help. They’re doing to brighten up the holidays for those in need.

The Hollister School District is helping this Holiday Season as staff and students in the entire district have helped more than 100 families.

Communications director of Hollister schools, Kim Connell said, “we are one asking for people who need assistance and two, asking for people who can give assistance.”

It started with a Thanksgiving food drive. Each student in the district brought in a different food item.

“Because our students help with boxing up the meals for the families and they don’t even probably realize it but some of those students are the ones who will be receiving the assistance and they maybe don’t even realize that they’re boxing up their own meals, essentially,” Connell said, “all of the assistance program is done in a way, so that the people who need the assistance don’t feel bad about it.”

As for the Christmas season, the district is back at it.

Early Childhood Center Counselor of Hollister schools Shannon Donathan said, “For Christmas we have so far serviced 99 families and over 200 students that we were able to get assistance for.”

Surveys are sent to each family in their district asking if they need help with their holiday meal.

“And everyone that asks for assistance, we are able to help and provide for,” Donathan said.

Then the district connects those families to those willing to help.

“Churches, people, staff. They call in and we’re just kind of the middle man. We connect them with those families and get those families what they need for Christmas,” Donathan said, “we have some that adopt and they get their own children involved in shopping for other kids and they explain hey, there’s these kids that need this help.”

7th grade Hollister student Aiden Connell said, “Me and my mom went shopping for some clothes. We bought some watches online for some kids because it’s helping people less fortunate. It’s getting them something really nice that they don’t usually get.”

Making a difference in giving.

According to Kim Connell, some of the families that have received help in the past and are now paying it forward by helping others in need.

Click here for complete story from Ozarks First.