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Welding students join gifts with local children

Times Observer photos by Brian Ferry Warren County Career Center Welding students who answered the call to be Secret Santas and help make sure three Warren Area Elementary Center students had plenty under the tree this Christmas include, above from left, morning students Caleb McMillen, Samuel Borland, Sawyer Lawson, BrookeLynn Woods, Gabriel Winn, Conner Winslow, Logan Borland, and Mikael Beaver, not pictured Alex Leamon. Below, at right, are Warren Area Elementary Center Counselor Missy McNett, Welding teacher Nate McNett, and afternoon students Trey Whyte, Evan Swanson, and Davonte Raffanello.

Welding students are accustomed to putting things together.

This season, students at the Warren County Career Center joined some Christmas gifts with needy kids.

Warren Area Elementary Center Counselor Missy McNett was looking for community agencies and individuals to help provide gifts for those in need.

“I work with a variety of community resources to help support the children,” she said. “There were about 50 kids at WAEC whose parents requested help.”

The career center is not typically one of those community resources, but it is this year.

Times Observer photos by Brian Ferry Warren County Career Center Welding students who answered the call to be Secret Santas and help make sure three Warren Area Elementary Center students had plenty under the tree this Christmas include, above from left, morning students Caleb McMillen, Samuel Borland, Sawyer Lawson, BrookeLynn Woods, Gabriel Winn, Conner Winslow, Logan Borland, and Mikael Beaver, not pictured Alex Leamon. Below, at right, are Warren Area Elementary Center Counselor Missy McNett, Welding teacher Nate McNett, and afternoon students Trey Whyte, Evan Swanson, and Davonte Raffanello.

Welding teacher Nate McNett mentioned that need to his students. “There were a lot of kids that weren’t going to get a lot of presents for Christmas,” he said. “We held a meeting with both of my classes and asked for volunteers.”

“A lot of hands went up,” he said.

Mrs. McNett provided a list of items that three students — “the names are kept confidential” — were hoping to receive for Christmas.

Mr. McNett’s students looked over the list and picked items they felt comfortable tackling.

“We brought in the toys to hopefully make the kids’ Christmas better… for the families that may not be able to afford it this year,” Trey Whyte said.

“It was fun to help kids in need,” Sawyer Lawson said.

The students who participated in the Secret Santa project were: Whyte, Lawson, Alex Leamon, Caleb McMillen, Samuel Borland, BrookeLynn Woods, Gabriel Winn, Conner Winslow, Logan Borland, Mikael Beaver, Evan Swanson, and Davonte Raffanello.

They collected enough items — including clothes, toys, games, and books — to cover two long tables.

Mr. McNett is looking forward to his program, and maybe others in the career center, stepping up even more in years to come.

“My hope for next year is people see this and more hands go up and perhaps we can adopt more than three next year,” he said.

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