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Students from Columbia High School and Goff Middle School were filled with the Christmas spirit on Friday morning as they helped set up the CoNSERNS-U Christmas Store in Rensselaer for low income families. They donated gifts and then arranged displays of board games, dolls and clothes throughout the spacious gymnasium.

The Christmas Store is open today and Tuesday for local parents to come in and select new gifts for free so every child may have a nice Christmas.

“It feels good to help others and not just focus on yourself,” said Katie Nelson ’19 who was volunteering as part of Columbia’s Peer Leadership club.

Other groups included Operation Graduation, Jump Start and Goff Student Council.

“It’s wonderful to see the kids working alongside the senior volunteers,” said CoNSERNS-U program coordinator Colleen Pidgeon. “It’s quite inspiring.”

Goff students spent the first part of their morning shopping for gifts with the $3,100 they raised during the fall. Then they delivered the presents to CoNSERNS-U and helped arrange the store.

“This is the most money we’ve ever raised for the Christmas Store,” said Goff Student Council advisor Nancy Garcia. “The students know they helped their community. They can see right where it goes.”