Goddard's Mitten Tree Project helps families in need

GODDARD, Kan. Hundreds of volunteers in Goddard are working to make a difference for families in need this Christmas.

The annual Godard Mitten Tree Project brings together students and other community members to package gifts.

Sunday was the 26th year for the annual Mitten Project wrapping party. The effort has grown every year. On Sunday, more than 200 volunteers were cutting, taping and wrapping gifts to be sent to children and families in need within the Goddard school district.

"We involve all our community assets as far our city government, our school system, our boy scouts, our different programs, different churches," says organizer Dan Funke with the Goddard Lions Club.

It's possible some of the younger volunteers could be packaging a present for their classmate.

"You don't realize that some of the kids in your school are struggling," Goddard Eisenhower student Melissa Horth says.

Funke says the gifts, which include everything from clothes and toys to bicycles, have a lasting impact on the children receiving them.

"You see the reaction of them having a new outfit, or a new coat, and how they prize that... that makes an impression for not only me, but for all of the kids," Funke says.

Funke says that's what Goddard works for year round.

"We always come together to help each other out," he says.