Christmas spirit travels to McClellanville

  • Friday, December 27, 2013

Velma Ray of Samís Club hands Lincoln Middle High School students Kristina Buckley and Marissa Manigault gift bags. PHOTO PROVIDED

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On Tuesday, Dec. 17, Velma Ray and Rose McCullough from Samís Club travelled to Lincoln Middle High School (LMHS) to spread holiday cheer and to deliver gift bags for students and teachers alike. Bringing 200 gift bags with them, Ray and McCullough warmed the hearts of the Lincoln Middle High School family and brought smiles to the excited students who truly felt like Christmas had come early. The bags were filled with snacks and candy, and Samís also donated clothing, particularly winter jackets, to LMHS students.

McCullough, who works in claims for Samís Club, and Ray, who works at the service desk, are the epitome of employees who go above and beyond the call of duty. Each has been with the company for 29 years, and although it is not in their job description, they have taken on the role of community service for the company. They, along with their colleague Bridgette Haynes, have formed a committee where they participate in community outreach by working on special projects and fundraising events. They have worked with menís and womenís shelters, The Ronald McDonald House, Susan G. Komen, Habitat for Humanity and the American Heart Association to name a few, and they spearhead a lot of volunteer-based weekend events.

Their interest in Lincoln has existed since Hurricane Hugo, and they are really proud of all the gains LMHS has made under Dr. Commodoreís leadership. The school has recently been featured in multiple media outlets for going from an F to an A on their federal report card. McCullough and Ray said that they really wanted to give back during the holidays so they set up this initiative for LMHS.

LMHS, one of the many Title 1 schools in Charleston County, serves a population of students where 90 percent receive free or reduced lunch. Due to the financial constraints that the families of LMHS face, their students do not enjoy luxuries that some people take for granted. Ray said that it makes her feel good to know that she has helped to provide a basic quality of life for students that others take for granted and that she can help propagate the magic that should exist at Christmas time for those in need.

Staff at LMHS are eternally grateful to McCullough, Ray and Haynes for setting up this initiative. ďThe look on the childrenísí faces was priceless,Ē said Tiffany Jenkins, a middle school science teacher, about her students who were elated to be receiving these holiday gifts. ďSamís Club has reminded all of us what this time of year is really all about ó the gift of giving was certainly well received in McClellanville.Ē

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