All Saints Catholic School teams up with residential care center for "Project North Pole"

BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - In recent years, students at All Saints Catholic School in Bangor have teamed up with Phillips-Strickland House, a residential care center for seniors.

On Thursday they continued a tradition with them known as "Project North Pole."

Christmas is less than a week away.

Many are finishing their last minute Christmas shopping and wrapping.

Thanks to the hard-working sixth graders from All Saints Catholic School in Bangor, the staff at Phillips-Strickland House won't have to worry about that for their residents.

"In the past, it's been a lot of work for myself and other staff members to wrap, so I am thrilled to have the support of the school locally right here to help us,” explained Linda Nickerson who serves as Activity Director for Phillips-Strickland House.

The school calls it "Project North Pole."

For the past few months, each grade at All Saints has gathered something different.

"We've been collecting deodorant, denture cleaner, stuffed animals, and some hand sanitizer” explained sixth-grader, Jackson Towle.

They've collected nearly 500 items that will go into large stockings staff will hang on residents' doors on Christmas morning.

"Some of our residents are needier, and it's just wonderful to have the simplest thing to open. It's the thought of a major holiday- Christmas morning, and they have something to open,” said Nickerson.

"I feel like these residents need a lot of Christmas gifts, too. They really deserve a good Christmas,” said one of the students.

This is the second year some of these students have participated. Students describe this as an "awesome experience."

"We just get to get involved with our community while also having fun and getting to hang out with each other,” said sixth-grader, Liam Tusk.

Most importantly, these students are learning about what it really means to give back during the holiday season.

"We do multiple things throughout the year here, and this is just one of them,” explained Angela Walsh, the PTFO President at All Saints Catholic School. “And of course, at Christmas time, it brings everything home for service in the community."

Staff say they hope they can keep this tradition going for years to come.