Hundreds of homeless people passed through Hope Fellowship Church on E. State Wednesday night, picking up warm clothing before sitting down to a hot meal provided by Rockford Christian Schools.
The school is holding their 29th Annual Holiday Feast and Clothing Donation for the Less Fortunate – with nearly everything at the event donated, gathered or created by Rockford Christian students, during months of planning.
“We started talking about it, actually, at the beginning of the year,” said Rockford Christian sixth grader, Benjamin Capriola. “But we just started collecting a month or two ago.”
Capriola and his classmates not only collected items, but guided the guests through the line to make sure they get everything they need.
“We are going to help them with their bags, and then introduce ourselves, and just give them a really good time. Because this is probably one of the only Christmases that they’ll get, so this is a really good thing,” said Capriola.
Superintendent of Rockford Christian schools, Randy Taylor, says the event not only teaches students how to give back, but lets the less fortunate in the community know that they matter.
“We may make a difference in their life for just one night, but it forges further connections with the community and enables them to know that they are important to our community,” said Taylor.
Those attending the event expressed their thanks throughout the night to both students and staff, making sure they knew the gesture was appreciated.
“People need this stuff, so it’s important that you give to your community. And they’re doing a good job, especially keeping everybody warm,” said event attendee Malissa McPherson.