ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Students at Rockford Lutheran raised money, and picked out and wrapped gifts for local families as part of an annual Christmastime fundraiser.

“We were able to raise about $3,000 through donations from all of the families of Rockford Lutheran and we were able to give gifts to 34 children as well as their families,” said Emma James, a junior at Rockford Lutheran.

James, along with senior Abigail Daniele, said they have been going to Rockford Lutheran Schools since they were in kindergarten. Now, they say being able to serve others is one of their core values.

“I just think it’s so important that we are able [to] show that we have a role in our community and show that we do care about everyone around us,” she said.

Daniele added, “Our Christmas chapel every year is always super special but I think this year it really shines because we were able to get all these events together and it’s all working out so far.”

Each year, students work on service projects that can help serve the Rockford community.

This year, they partnered with Lutheran Social Services to help the families they serve.

In addition, the students collected 15 stuffed animals, which will be given to UW SwedishAmerican to hand out to children in the hospital over Christmas.

“It’s nice to partner with other people in the community, so they know that there [are] agencies [that have] their back and [are] really trying to help them in the hard times,” said Lutheran Social Services’ Jessica Cass.

Both James and Daniele said they hope the Rockford Lutheran family can continue to spread love and kindness in the years to come.