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Bath Elementary fifth graders collect for Ronald McDonald House

Christmas is a time for giving, and that spirit of the season was in full effect at Bath Elementary School this week. On Wednesday, three classes of BES fifth graders made a very special delivery that will help families stay close to sick loved ones this holiday season.

During the past few weeks, the students have been collecting donations of food, kitchen items, household supplies and other donations for Ronald McDonald House of Eastern North Carolina. Students in three classes pushed the effort under the supervision of teachers Blake Bullock, Terri Ussary and Lisa Askew.

The net result was a huge pile of donations.

“It helps the children that are sick or disabled,” student Bailey Singleton said. “They might have houses for them (the families of the kids) so they can stay near the hospital.”

Additionally, the children collected drink can tabs throughout the year that will also be donated. These aluminum tabs will in turn be recycled for cash that helps the Ronald McDonald House operate. Located near Vidant Medical Center, the ENC Ronald McDonald House is one 366 worldwide that offer families a place to stay when a child is being treated for a prolonged period in the hospital.

“It’s important so that if something happens to their child while they’re in the hospital, they can get there fast,” fifth grader Abigail Dixon explained. “If they live far away, they can get there faster.”

Each year, the fifth grade class does a service project during the holidays, with previous projects benefiting everything from local nursing homes to Shepard Cancer Center.

“We try to get the kids in the mindset to give back,” BES fifth-grade math teacher Blake Bullock said. “We’ve got teach them math, reading, science and social studies, but we want to teach them to be good citizens and give back. If there is a need that needs to be taken care of, we can help with that.”