CINCINNATI -- Fifth- and sixth-grade teacher Stephanie Abney's guiding role in her students' lives doesn't stop when winter vacation starts. Abney and fellow teacher Emily Norman have spent December playing Santa Claus for a family of six homeless students in need of some holiday help.
"They live with another family, so they live in one room," Norman said. "In that room, there's two mattresses that all eight family members share. It's a tight squeeze for eight people to live in."
Their school's homeless coordinator, Kristy McNally, helped them connect with the family and get Christmas lists from their students. At first, Norman said they started with small requests like candy.
She encouraged them to think bigger and learned they needed clothes, winter coats and shoes in addition to wants like games and snacks.
They'll get those gifts thanks to Norman, Abney and friends who wanted to contribute to their Christmas.
In addition to gifts the group purchased, the family will also receive blankets and embroidered pillowcases for each individual member.
"They're awesome," Abney said. "They're fun; they're bubbly; they don't let what they're going through right now get them down in any particular way."
If you would like to help homeless families in Newport through the holidays, you can make a contribution by calling 859-292-3066.