HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - First graders from Oak Grove Primary School and Longleaf Elementary got a chance to show their Christmas spirit Friday as they helped kick off their annual canned food drive for Homes of Hope for Children.
The students spent the morning at Ashley Furniture Homestore, which works in conjunction with the schools for the food drive.
"(Students) bring canned foods, put them under the tree, and over the course between now and Christmas break there is a competition and the tree with the most canned foods gets a pizza party, so everybody wins," said Bo Pennebaker, Ashley Furniture homestore owner.
Students worked on hand-made Christmas ornaments and Friday morning got the chance to place them on one of the many trees as a part of "Deck the Halls" at Ashley Furniture.
Kids got to enjoy a movie, snacks and fun, as well as a special visit from a well-known holiday guest.
The students will ask their family and friends to come by the store throughout the holidays to view their artwork and donate canned goods to be placed under their class' tree. All the canned foods will be donated to Homes of Hope.
"Homes of Hope is a great ministry, we have had a long standing relationship with them, they serve kids and provide a home for them, but to feed a family is a pretty daunting task and they feed a very very large family," Pennebaker said.
With the kids bringing decorations and hanging them on each tree, it adds a splash of Christmas cheer to the store.
"When the Longleaf/Oak Grove first graders are in our store, to help us to "Deck the Halls", it is the most electric environment our store experiences all year long," said Pennebaker.
The students' ornaments will be on display through Wednesday, Dec.16 and the final tally for canned goods will also be conducted on that day.
For additional information, call Ashley Furniture Homestore at 601-602-0200.