BUCKHANNON – Schools in Upshur County will be meeting remotely through the new year, and with this in mind, Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School is planning an event for its students, families and faculty to celebrate Christmas. The Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School Drive-In Christmas event will offer middle school students and their families (as well as anyone who would like to visit) a spectacular way to celebrate the holiday season.
B-UMS Communities in Schools Facilitator Justin Bowers said this socially-distanced event will let students see the familiar faces of their teachers and school staff – and let them view the crazy decorations the team is coming up with to create a bit of a ‘winter wonderland’ at the school.
Doesn’t that sound like fun? The event is scheduled for Sunday, December 20, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the school.
“We will have hot chocolate, candy canes, live Christmas music and even a special guest from the North Pole all there to say ho-ho-hello,” Bowers said. “We will be giving away cookies and soup until supplies run out.”
The idea for the event came from the simple fact that B-UMS staff and leaders miss seeing their students.
“This year, 2020, has been difficult in so many ways, especially in schools,” Bowers said. “We know families and teachers are all working as hard as they can in the uncharted waters of education. Because of this, we know there has been a great deal of stress and we wanted to end the year with something fun and hopeful.”
Bowers said everyone at B-UMS wanted to see their students and families – and see them smiling.
“So, our hope is to create an opportunity to celebrate Christmas together and reconnect with families,” he said.
Along with the festive fun, B-UMS is using the Drive-In Christmas event as an opportunity to help others.
“We will be collecting supplies for the Upshur Parish House,” Bowers said. “Anyone who would like can make a donation of any of the following items for the Parish House, including grape jelly, kid-friendly snacks like canned Spaghetti O’s and ravioli, canned vegetables, canned pork and beans and canned fruit such as applesauce and peaches. We are also looking for donations of hygiene and infant supplies including baby shampoo, powdered laundry detergent, dish soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste and feminine products.”
“We have a great group of partners helping out with this event,” he added. “The B-UMS staff has been incredible, as well as members of the New Community Church. Other helpers include B-UHS and B-UMS students and many others. If folks in the community want to help and become involved, they can send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Buckhannon and Upshur County residents are so giving and Bowers said working with everyone to organize the event is the best part.
“There are so many moving parts to an event like this, and I cannot even tell you all the ways the community is helping out,” he said. “I know there have been donations of candy canes and hot chocolate and families and groups are baking all kinds of cookies and making soup. Others are helping by providing sound systems, a Santa outfit and some kind of a socially distant photo booth. It has been a blast seeing the creativity and community support come to life.”
He said they hope to make this event a truly special moment at the end of a difficult year.
“Anyone who wants to be involved can donate time and a smiling face, cookies, soup, candy canes, hot chocolate or money for supplies,” Bowers said. “We are also hoping for plenty of supplies to help out the Parish House.”
Bowers said this is the first year for the B-UMS Drive in Christmas event, but he hopes there will be a special event each year.
“We would love that!” he said. “We are grateful to be a part of such a special community. As I said, we miss our students and cannot wait to have them back in school every day. For now, the incredible teachers and service personnel throughout our community are doing an incredible job planning things just like the B-UMS Drive in Christmas event to keep impacting students’ lives.”