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Enterprise 3rd graders show kindness

Three teachers have stepped up to help teach the true meaning of Christmas — the true meaning of kindness — to their students.

For two years now, Ashley Douglas, Jennifer Lee and Leah Fraysur have organized a “12 Days of Christmas” program for their students. Each day has a theme associated with Christmas — things like snowmen and Santa Claus. Perhaps the most important, however, is Kindness Day, where students work to do kind things for others.

Some of the things they do are simple, like writing kind notes to their teachers and fellow students. But they also do something big, something to truly enrich the life of another person. So the students also collected gifts for three young girls living in the Darlene “Doll” Slater Rehabilitation Center for Women. Douglas said she wants to teach the children that they can be kind, and not just for Christmas.

“That’s one of our main focuses — getting them to understand that it’s not just about them,” Douglas said. “It’s not just about what they get under the tree. A lot of our kids are less fortunate. Some kids brought back a box of colors. It didn’t cost very much. But they were able to help.”

The value of helping others is something Douglas knows very well. In April of 2017, her Brookhaven home was destroyed by a tornado. Douglas said the community stepped up, then, to help her.

“Like something as simple as a toothbrush,” Douglas said. “You can’t even imagine living without it until you don’t have any.”

Doll’s House Director Stephanie Turner said the gifts brought an amazing Christmas to three children who were all previously in foster care. Their mothers have only recently regained custody of the children, and they’re starting off from scratch.

“They basically came with nothing,” Turner said. “And they were filled to the brim. Toys, clothes — you name it, they got it. We’re so very thankful for the kindness that comes from this wonderful community that gives back,” Turner said. “Those children benefited far more than we could have imagined. I was truly overwhelmed at the amount of gifts they brought.”