Every school year around Christmas time, Thomas County Central High School holds its annual Shop with a Yellow Jacket (SWAY J) event.
The TCCHS staff receives applications from families that need a little assistance throughout the holidays.
Students from TCCHS form teams of up to five members to sponsor each child. Also, they must raise a total of $100 to support their child during this event. The money is used to buy gifts for the child, as well as the rest of his or her family.
Many teachers and staff members sponsor teams to help the chosen kids around Thomas County.
This year’s event was held Dec. 15.
Kids made stockings, decorated cookies, shopped for gifts at Walmart and enjoyed the holiday atmosphere.
Participant Kerri Butts, 17, volunteered with a group of fellow students. She said her group’s child bought two baby dolls and a set of lotion and body wash for his family members.
“It was very good,” Butts said of the event. “All the little kids loved it and I think it was a good way for the families that don’t have anything for their kids to get what they want.”
Her favorite part of the day was shopping with the kids and “seeing the look in their eyes at the stuff they wanted.”
TCCHS teacher Regina Beasley is the new director of this five-year-old event. Participants said she did a wonderful job organizing all of the activities and structure of SWAY J.
"Words cannot describe what I felt on Saturday during SWAY J,” Beasley said. “The smiles on the kids’ faces and the gratitude expressed by their parents were worth more than gold. The students at TCCHS are incredible and I am truly blessed by them on a daily basis."