River View Junior High helps families in need

| December 23, 2015
SANTA’S HELPER: Assistant Principal at River View Junior High School Brad Baker delivers presents to River View families in need this Christmas season. Through funds raised by teachers and in the community, the school was able to help 10 local families this year. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED TO THE BEACON

SANTA’S HELPER: Assistant Principal at River View Junior High School Brad Baker delivers presents to River View families in need this Christmas season. Through funds raised by teachers and in the community, the school was able to help 10 local families this year. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED TO THE BEACON

WARSAW – Each year at River View Junior High School, Principal Jerry Olinger asks teachers to submit names of students they think might have a hard Christmas this year. After a list is compiled of potential students, Olinger calls each family and asks if they need help this holiday season.

“I’ve had a number of people say, I’ve been praying about this and we need help,” said Olinger.

The junior high then adopts that whole family for Christmas, including siblings of the Junior High students in that family. The family is asked to make a list of what each family member needs and then anything they may want for Christmas. The list is posted in the office and staff members go out and buy the items on the list throughout the Christmas season.

This year, staff members raised $400 to help four local families. The night of the junior high school concert, Olinger asked for donations to help with the project. Community members donated an overwhelming $838, and the junior high was able to add an additional six families to help, bringing the total to 10 local families.

“I was surprised to get that amount,” said Brad Baker, assistant principal at the junior high. “People were able to give and they did. Some people dropped in $50 and most people dropped in $20. It was pretty amazing.”

Baker and his wife Melissa, along with five volunteers, spent many hours wrapping the gifts and when they were finished, Baker had about four loads of merchandise in his car.

Melissa also started a Facebook page where families could submit their needs for the holiday season. One family said they needed food, and $200 was raised to buy food for that family.

“You can’t describe how good it makes you feel,” said Baker. “We as a staff feel better to help these people out. It warms our heart because our River View families need help and we’re able to be in a position to do that.”

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Category: Education

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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