“It’s great to see children looking after children,” said Phil Hux, a member of the Angel’s Closet board. “It’s hard for kids to part with toys. We’re thankful they have looked after us. It’s a whole lot more than last year.”
Hux said the school’s efforts are part of what he described as the area’s giving nature. “The people of the Roanoke Valley look after people. I’m glad the young ones are doing this now.”
The list of children the ministry helps gets longer every year, Hux said, and the area helps out.
“We’ve got a ton of bicycles. The (Roanoke Rapids) fire department refurbished almost 50 bikes.”
This is the fourth year Belmont fifth-graders have organized the schoolwide stuffed animal drive, Roanoke Rapids Graded School District spokesman Les Atkins said.
The drive, called Cuddles for Christmas, collected more than 400 new and gently used animals, Atkins said in a statement.
"That's the most we've ever collected," said Adrienne Powell, a Belmont fifth-grade teacher.
Said Belmont Principal Terrell Jones: "This completely student-led initiative demonstrates our students' caring and concern for fellow children. We are extremely proud of them for their leadership and for partnering with the Angel's Closet to help brighten the holidays of children in our community."
Said Hux: “It’s Christmas. You think about what Christmas is about — joy, that’s what.”