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Fort Pierce Elks Lodge donates gifts to 1,200 St. Lucie Public School students

Posted at 8:47 AM, Dec 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-07 21:22:40-05

ST LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. — The Elks Lodge in Fort Pierce is stepping up to make sure underprivileged students in St. Lucie Public Schools don't go without a Christmas.

Its backpack program collects toys, clothing, and other necessities like hygiene kits, food, and underwear to give to schools where the homelessness and free and reduced lunch rates are high.

"It's in your heart," said Leonard Smallacombe, member. "I mean if you can't help a child, I believe an Elk never stands so straight and tall as when it's helping a child, a child in need."

Smallacombe said the program was created eight years ago to help just four students in the school district.

This year, gifts will be given to nearly 1,200 students across `12 schools.

"There are students that need just basic necessities like hygiene kits, toothbrush and toothpaste, socks, underwear, you know, clothes to start off the next semester fresh and new and maybe a new backpack," said Lydia Martin, Chief Communications Officer, SLPS. "These are all things that help them put their best foot forward and help them set themselves up for success in their school day."

Items will be delivered to the schools on Tuesday and given to students throughout the week.

Everything is financed by grants given to the Elks Lodge and from the generosity of its members.

The Education Foundation at the St. Lucie Public School District is always looking to help students in need and is willing to accept donations from the community.