Celebrating four years of giving back

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo (KKCO) Officials at Head Start in Orchard Mesa say its great to see young people giving back, especially around the holidays. One local high school student is celebrating four years of giving, providing more than 160 families in need with a boxed Christmas dinner.

Christina Poole is a freshmen in high school but decided she wanted to give back to the community when she was just 10 years old. A small project she started four year ago has grown into a large partnership with Head Start, reaching hundreds of people all over the Grand Valley.

"I saw like the people on the side of the road and how fortunate I am and how much they don't have," said Poole. Poole says she started helping people when she was 10 years old, providing a Christmas dinner to those in need. "Um, the first year it was part of my money," said Poole.

Poole is 14 and says her project called "Paper Angels" has really taken off, serving more than 160 families this year. "I don't expect that out of me, but I like doing this and it makes me happy."

Head Start family services coordinator Reona Beltran says she was thrilled when Christina and her dad Gavin decided to help. "Um, not a lot, but we are grateful and thankful that he adopted our program, and is willing to help us and help those families and parents and children that are in need," said Beltran. Beltran says its families like the Pooles that make a little brighter each year. "We all know that every year there are families in need that stumble and just need a little help."

Each dinner box has turkey, stuffing and canned vegetables, and Christina says she bought the food with money raised from local companies. "The last few years they were happy to see me because they actually remembered me so the were happy to see me and just know someone was doing something for them," said Poole.

Poole says she plans to do it again next year and hopes to reach at least 200 hundred families. She says each year it is great to see the smiles on the faces of the parents and children who receive her donations.

The food filled a 20 foot Uhaul used to distribute the food Saturday morning. Each family who collected a dinner pre-registered with head start and had a child enrolled in the education program.

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