Hundreds of children ages 010 who otherwise might not have an opportunity to be part of a positive holiday event enjoyed some holiday cheer Saturday thanks to Meridian Community Care's annual Breakfast With Santa event.
Student volunteers from several area schools who are members of the Meridian-sponsored PANDA Leaders Club collected toys to distribute to the youngsters. They also helped serve breakfast and coordinate photos with Santa at the event, which took place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15 at the downtown YMCA.
The children who were invited to Breakfast With Santa are clients of the many area nonprofit social service agencies Meridian works with. PANDA Leaders Club members are students at area middle schools and high schools - part of a program that encourages positive choices while developing plans to deal with issues facing young people today.
Photo special to the Town Crier
Students at Poland Middle School and McKinley Elementary School donated gifts for underprivileged children up to age 10 for the Giving Tree. The gifts were given out at the Breakfast with Santa event on Dec. 15 at the downtown YMCA, sponsored by Meridian Community Care and PANDA Leaders Club at participating schools. Pictured are Poland Middle School students Audrey Schweers, Paige Kellgren, Noah Landry, Jeffrey Vrabel, Lewis Schaft, Ben Walsh, Mackenzie Holloway, Caitlyn Saxon, Melanie DePasqua, and Taylor Harrington.
PANDA Leaders Club members from Poland Middle School, Lowellville Middle and High
Schools, Austintown Middle School, Boardman Center Middle School, Boardman Glenwood Middle School and Boardman High School participated in this year's Breakfast With Santa by collecting more than 500 presents through Giving Trees at their schools. Meridian employees also participated in the Giving Tree event. Any presents that remain after this year's event will be distributed to children in various Meridian Community Care programs.
Local businesses also contributed to the program.
Meridian Community Care has been sponsoring the Breakfast With Santa event for more than 20 years.