Children decorate holiday donation bags for the homeless

Pinellas County elementary school students are learning an important lesson about caring.

They are coloring with a purpose at  Melrose Elementary School in St. Pete.

"I am making this project for the homeless people," said student Austin Bell.

Student Corban Crawford says, "I just like helping people and other stuff."

The children are decorating brown paper bags for Daystar Life Center. Daystar provides food, clothing and basic necessities for those in need.  

The bags will be used to put food in. Their endeavor is a big success.

"One year we got a thank you note from someone who got one at Christmas and he said, 'I appreciate the food. I didn't have a tree but my bag was a tree and its sitting in the middle of my dining room table and that's my Christmas tree,'" said Executive Director Jane Trocheck.

The effort has a lesson for students too.

"To be kind, have empathy for others and also to learn how to give back and learn about community service," said teacher Jennifer Bowens.

Teaching children the ABC's of compassion and love.