WOODBRIDGE, Va. (WUSA) -- A group of children from St. Paul United Methodist Church in Woodbridge, Va. wanted to do something to help their friends at a local elementary school.
"If you know someone's in need, and you can help, you should definitely help them. It's like a blessing," Hannah Simensen, a student volunteer said.
One by one, the children of St. Paul United Methodist Church filled bags, and a desperate need in their own backyard. Without their efforts, children at nearby Belmont Elementary school might not have enough food over Christmas break.
"They might go through the entire day without eating. And the entire winter break. And that's not healthy at all," Katie Rowe, a student volunteer said.
The idea came from Nick Meres, a third grader at Belmont Elementary, where hundreds of students receive free or reduced cost breakfasts and lunches.
"He was coming home at night and asking if he could bring extra snacks to school for some of his friends to bring home to their siblings," Amanda Meres, of St. Paul's Church said.
Katie added, "It wouldn't be right if they do go through the day without a meal. We want them to eat."
Members of the youth ministry raised money for Project Winter Relief by selling painted pumpkins and even, hosting a pumpkin smash and other fundraisers.
"Even the little things can help. Like painting pumpkins for an auction. All the money adds up," said Hannah.
This is an opportunity for our kids to learn about what the spirit of Christmas is about, what the spirit of giving is about," Amy Phillips, of St. Paul's Church said.
Remarkably, the children filled 470 bags with food, one for every child in need.
If you'd like to donate, you can do so by dropping off donations at St. Paul located at 1400 G Street in Woodbridge, Va. or call them at 703-494-2445. They would gratefully accept your donations through Wednesday.