Arlington Sunrise Rotary
Members of the Arlington Sunrise Rotary spread joy and holiday cheer to over 1,200 elementary students at Thornton and Anderson elementary schools by surprising them with candy and stockings full of toys and goodies to enjoy over the winter break.
Stockings were filled with everything from toothbrushes and toothpaste to fidget spinners and Rubik’s Cubes. This is the fourth year the organization continued its holiday tradition of donating stockings to students and baskets of essential items to families in need.
“Days like these are the reason I joined the rotary,” said Sheri Hall, Arlington Sunrise Rotary president. “This effort has grown so much over the years because people have continued to bring their families and friends to help these kids out. It’s about giving back.”
2020 was the first year the effort expanded to Anderson Elementary School. Families who needed essential items were able to sign up to receive a basket, and the baskets that were left over went to Arlington Charities.
About 140 baskets were filled with essentials and grocery items such as flour, sugar, rice, beans, canned goods, toilet paper and paper towels.
It takes the community
“Stuffing the stockings is my favorite part because it is truly a community effort and it reminds me that we need each other for our community to thrive,” said Hall, a resident of Arlington for over 30 years and parent of two Arlington High School graduates. “It’s amazing to be able to see the kids’ faces light up and the joy that they have when they run up to us and give us hugs for making their day.”
On Dec. 4, about 70 members of the rotary brought friends and family members to Thornton’s cafeteria to help organize and assemble every basket and stocking. A few Thornton staff members and students even went to stores with the rotary members to pick out items for each stocking.
“We have many needs and it’s nice for organizations like the Arlington Sunrise Rotary to come out and give back to the students,” said Thornton Principal Alicia Rodriguez. “They have been supporting us for over a decade, and it’s nice to see the continuous love they give to Thornton year after year.”
The Arlington ISD is appreciative of the Arlington Sunrise Rotary for their commitment to community and efforts to give love to students and families. This holiday season, remember to take an opportunity to give back and bring joy to someone else who needs it.