Christmas Happiness: A gift in honor of teachers
By Rebecca Rider
Editor’s note: this story has been updated to correctly reflect the amount given by the Boyden Lunch Bunch Class of 1955.
SALISBURY — Laura Thompson and her daughters have a special way of thanking their teachers. For nearly ten years, the three have been donating to Christmas Happiness in honor of the teachers at Overton Elementary, Knox Middle and Salisbury High schools.
“They loved their teachers and they loved their school,” Thompson said.
It’s a tradition that began when Thompson’s youngest daughter, Anne Claire, graduated high school in 2004 — her older sister Hannah graduated two years prior, in 2002. Thompson said the family wanted to do something to honor the teachers who had pushed the girls to be the best students and people they could be.
Thompson said the two “never had a bad one,” and the teachers were always open to talk if needed.
“All those teachers went the extra mile for my children,” she said.
The family began donating to Christmas Happiness after they moved to Salisbury in 1986. After Anne Claire graduated, they thought it would be a nice way to thank the teachers for their service while doing something good at the same time.
Thompson said they’ve heard from former teachers each year after the donation — though a few have retired, and a few have passed on.
Anne Claire now lives in Denver and works as a veterinary technician. Hannah lives in New York and works at Sotheby’s as an associate specialist in the Chinese works of art department.
“We are quite proud of them,” Thompson said.
The Christmas Happiness Fund is a Post-sponsored program that allows the community to contribute donations. The Salvation Army of Rowan County distributes the donations to eligible families.
Each child receives a voucher that can be used to purchase toys and clothing items.
Bring contributions to the Salisbury Post, 131 W. Innes St., between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays or mail them to The Salisbury Post Christmas Happiness Fund, P.O. Box 4639, Salisbury, NC 28145-4639.
Make checks payable to the Christmas Happiness Fund and indicate how you wish your donations to be listed.
- Wink’s Bunch $121
- Mr. and Mrs. William C. Stanback $500
- Anonymous $100
- In memory of David L. Huffman by Peggy Huffman $100
- In memory of Carl M. Benfield, Glenn R. Hartzoge, Mary B. Snowberger and Louise B. Hartzoge by Tim and Marsha $75
- In memory of Baby Chad Bost by MawMaw Roana $25
- In honor of the Saturday Deli Girls $150
- In honor of Mattox and McCall Henderson by Judy and Richard Kluttz $200
- In memory of Bill Bloodworth by Bobby and Relena Talbert $25
- Anonymous $25
- In memory of Sidney and Scotty Blume by Betty Blue and Family $50
- In memory of Ida Mae and Whitney Kluttz by Norman and Sarah Holshouser $100
- In honor of my neighbors: Sarah and Keith, Rick and Jackie, Bev and Chris, and Fred and Connie, Mary K. and Pat R. by Nan Martin $50
- In loving memory of our son William A. “Bill” Vanhoy who passed away July 2, 2016, we will always miss you by Archie and Gail Vanhoy $50
- In memory of Todd Kimball by Lee and Libby Holman $20
- In memory of Ruby Yarbrough by Phyllis and Jake Alexander $25
- In honor of Rowan County DSS foster parents by Carla and Jim Mallinson $50
- In honor of Providence Methodist Church Men’s Club $100
- In memory Don Evers by Mary Evers $25
- In honor of teachers from Hedrick-Friendship S. S. Class of First United Methodist Church: George Hill, Steve Sherriff, Jesse McCartary and substitutes $100
- In memory of my husband, Howard Goodman by Virginia Goodman $100
- In memory of S.P. Rev. James I. Smith, Faithful Brother and Chaplin by Eureka Lodge #45 $100
- In memory of Joe Hearne Rufty $500
- In memory of A’Yanna Allen $100
- In memory of Steve Yoe by James, Sylvia and Pam Alexander $25
- In memory of Texie and Gan-Dan Trexler by Kathy, Bobby, Kathryn, Bo and Lillie $50
- In memory of Mom-Mom and Gan-Dan Rusher by Kathy, Bobby, Kathryn, Bo and Lillie $50
- In memory of my Aunt Betty Ruth Hood who was such a positive influence in my life. I treasure all the wonderful memories of Christmas at her home with her and all my family by Joan Young $50
- In memory of Sonny and Dale Lambert and Cliff Ross and in honor of all the families by B. Jean Lambert $20
- In honor of our fabulous teachers at Overton, Knox and Salisbury High by Hannah and Anne Claire $150
- In honor of our children and grands by Jim and Barbara Norman $100
- In memory of Margaret and John Allison and in honor of Allison, Jack, Jackson, and Eva Egbert by Lee Ann and Jim Christy $100
- In memory of deceased members of BHS Class of 1955 by Boyden Lunch Bunch Class of 1955 $400
- In loving memory of Giorgio and Mercede Porcari and in honor of all my foster kids by Sandy Porcari $60
Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264.