PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — As 515 Hiland Park Elementary students listened to the morning announcements Tuesday, they found out a surprise was coming.
Hiland Park Baptist Church donated a Christmas bag filled with toys and other items to each student in grades pre-k through 5th. After each grade’s lunch, students lined up and were given the bags.
The church and school are partners, and the church’s student minister, Robbie Martin, approached principal Ilea Faircloth about wanting to make the bags for the school.
“[The church reaching out] was a total surprise to us … it’s just a blessing,” Faircloth said. “We love our community, we love our partnership with Hiland Park Baptist.”
Faircloth helped distribute the bags and says it was amazing to see the excitement on her students’ faces.
“The joy of Christmas is always exciting to participate in and be a part of and just the joy of children is just a blessing, so we were very glad to be a recipient of that,” Faircloth said.
Church members filled the bags and they were delivered to the schools.
Hiland Park Baptist Church has done this outreach for multiple years. This year, the church provided a bag full of toys and other items to Hiland Park Elementary and Parker Elementary.
“Personally, I love the opportunity the schools give us by allowing us to provide for the students and for us as a church it’s just our way to show these kids that they are loved,” Martin said.
All 625 Parker Elementary students will receive their bags Wednesday.