EUNICE — Fifth-graders can make a loud noise with their joyful singing and jingling of bells, but they brought in healthy contributions for the Salvation Army at the Lowe’s Market in Eunice.
The Fifth-grade Ambassadors spent a full day Tuesday singing yuletide jingles and ringing bells to encourage contributions be dropped in the kettle. Speaking over the din, sponsor Laura Kunko explained, “These are the Ambassadors. There’s 13 of them and they’ve been coming all day long.”
Mettie Jordan Elementary School Principal Tracy Davis arranged to transport the students from the school to Lowe’s Market in groups of three to serve in 45-minute shifts throughout the day.
“(The) Fifth-Grade Ambassadors that have done several projects throughout the year,” Davis said. “One of the things is ringing bells so we can bring some more money into the Salvation Army and give back to the community.”
A member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board, Eunice Police Detective Casey Arcidez reported to the City Council Tuesday night he had delivered two full kettles of money to the Salvation Army, much of it collected by the kids.
Davis told the News-Sun, “I loved to do this when I was in Hobbs, but we had not done it here. So, when I found out that the police department was doing this I asked if we could join in and just take a day.”
Arcidez said, “It’s so great that the kids are getting involved with the adults, give them a little push, get more into the Christmas spirit. It’s going well.”
Joining his classmates with traditional and more modern renditions of “Jingle Bells,” fifth-grader Bryce Dudley paused a minute to tell the News-Sun how he became an Ambassador, keeping it short and to the point.
“I helped some of my friends and I was surprised I got it,” he said.
Helping is a key word for the Fifth-Grade Ambassadors, according to Kunko.
“They are chosen by a committee. They have to have good grades, not get in trouble in school,” she said. “They’re leaders and good students. They did a canned food drive this year, they helped (younger students) writing Christmas letters to the military. They help with the Salvation Army and they help with the school.”
Teacher Melissa Sisk elaborated, “These students represent character. They have an awesome character. They’re selected by their teachers. We use them in many ways. Sometimes they help out in the cafeteria. Sometimes they work with other students. Anytime we can help the community, they usually do.
“It gives the other students something to look forward to. They want to be an ambassador when they get in the fifth grade. It helps them realize that having a good character is valuable,” she concluded.
Mayor Matt White showed up to drop a bag of coins into the kettle.
“This is a great idea giving the kids a chance to get out and do something for the community, and it is good to help the Salvation Army,” he said.
Meanwhile, both Davis and Arcidez noted the National Honor Society, a group of older youth at the high school, perform the same service on Saturdays.