True spirit of Christmas

Published 10:06 am Monday, December 26, 2011

COLERAIN – Out of evil, many times good will come.

Such has been the case for those devastated by the tornadoes that struck Bertie and Hertford counties in April.

Despite the devastation and loss, there has been overwhelming support for those who suffered because of the natural disaster.

That continued here Dec. 10 when Minister Yvette Smith and members of the congregation of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Charlotte delivered Christmas gifts, packages and toys as well as household items, bedding and toiletries to 30 Bertie County families affected by those storms.

The families were from Colerain Elementary School, Aulander Elementary School and Bertie Middle School.

“If you ask 10 different people to define ‘the Christmas spirit,’ you’ll probably get 10 different answers, but one commonality through all the answers would likely be that Christmas is about giving,” said Bertie County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Debbie Harris-Rollins. “It is the time of year when we celebrate the greatest gift of all.  Too often and too easily, though, we get caught up in the shopping, cooking and decorating and forget what Christmas really is about.

“ In this age of commercialism and egocentrism, it is especially powerful and touching to see firsthand the Christmas spirit, and that is what students and families of Colerain Elementary witnessed,” she added.

Bertie County Board of Education Vice Chair Emma Johnson was on hand to represent the school district along with Colerain Principal Wesley Dudley, Bertie Middle School Principal Sandra Hardy and Aulander Principal Karen Rodman.

“Emotions ran high as families began to see the extent to which the congregation of Mt. Carmel had gone to raise, contribute and donate to help make Christmas possible for these children, their parents and others,” said Bertie County Schools Public Information Officer Brent Todd.

During a brief ceremony, words of gratitude were offered by Johnson and School Counselor Courtney Byrum as well as State Representative Annie W. Mobley.

“An anonymous author wrote, ‘I enter the home of poverty causing children to open their eyes wide in pleased wonder…In a thousand ways I cause the weary world to look up…and for a little moment forget the things that are small and wretched…I am the Christmas spirit’,” Dr. Harris-Rollins said. “As superintendent, I am grateful to those who have remembered our children, especially at Christmas, and I am hopeful that our children will long remember the kindness and one day pass it on to others.”