Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus stopped in Rome on Thursday to thank Beth Abbott’s kindergarten class at St. Mary’s Catholic School.

The students collected personal items to donate to Open Door Children’s Home. Amanda Adams, a board member at the home and a room mom in Abbott’s classroom, said it was heartwarming to see the kids be so generous.

The kids were thrilled when Santa and Mrs. Claus came into the classroom to visit them.

The couple read them the story of Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer.

Usually, Adams is in charge of a Christmas party at the school and parents contribute items for the party. While she still plans to host a party at another time, she thought it would be a good idea to help the kids who are in the group home during the holidays.

“They’re kids, they shouldn’t have to worry about these things,” said Adams. The class collected items like toothbrushes, deodorants, and soap.

“When I was a kid, there were things you didn’t want to ask for, for Christmas, but you need,” she said. “I know that these are items the kids at the home need and might not have.”

They’ve been collecting items since the beginning of December. In that short time, the kids brought in crates full of personal care items. Tracie Ball, the executive director of the Open Door Children’s Home, said the gesture is appreciated.

“We’re just grateful for the support of the community,” said Ball.

She also said that it’s important students learn to be good stewards of their community at an early age.

“They don’t have a lot of stuff,” said kindergartner Thomas Lemming, when asked why it was important to give back.

“It’s being nice,” his classmate Noah Nguyen added.

The children’s home can use monetary donations throughout the year, Ball said.

She also said they like to keep kids, who range from age 12 to 18, busy by taking them outside and doing things.

If you’d like to make a monetary contribution or donate event tickets, call 706-232-6662.

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