Holiday Giving Project helps growing list of Marion School District students in need this season

Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 4:04 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -More families in the Marion School District are in need of help this holiday season. Each year the Holiday Giving Project helps gives back to Marion families with food and children’s gifts.

More than 200 students in the Marion Independent School District are on the list to be helped through the Holiday Giving Project this year.

”Every year you can imagine it’s increased, especially the last two or three years,” said Michelle Wilson, Social Worker for the Marion Independent School District.

She says they’ve seen more families in need since the pandemic and the derecho.

In Uptown Marion, Goldfinch Tap and Eatery is doing what they can to help. For the second year they’ve put up a giving tree, complete with wish lists of Marion students.

”Any way that we can help especially during the holidays is very important to all of us,” Taylor Lillibridge said, Special Events Coordinator at Goldfinch.

People can take a tag, shop for the child, and then return the gifts to Goldfinch who will get them over to the school for distribution.

Meanwhile students in the district are doing a food drive. Each family on the list for the Giving Project will also receive a box of food ahead of the holidays.

Multiple businesses are participating. So far Goldfinch has tags for 43 families, that’s almost 90 kids. They’re hoping to be able to surpass the 100 mark. All of it takes community participation.

”It’s truly the spirit of Christmas and generosity, it’s all about giving. And just to see that they’re able to give to families in need and they’re willing to come in and grab a tag is pure Christmas magic,” said Lillibridge.

It’s something that means a lot to those on the receiving end of the Giving Project.

”A lot of our families have shared with me that they wouldn’t be able to have a Christmas for their kids without this,” Wilson explained.

The deadline to help is approaching, gifts are due December 12th. Those wanting to help who can’t make it to Goldfinch can contact Michelle Wilson via email at .