Some high school students have found a way to experience the true meaning of giving by providing gifts for 14 Gahanna-area families.

Some high school students have found a way to experience the true meaning of giving by providing gifts for 14 local families.

"DECA planned and organized the event through sophomore homerooms and the vocal music program," said Erin Law, a senior in Gahanna Lincoln High School's DECA club. "The fundraiser was an overall success, and all families received over hundreds of dollars in gifts and gift cards."

Law said the DECA club includes 24 members who worked with GRIN (Gahanna Residents In Need) to adopt the families for the Christmas season. After the families were chosen, the club members learned the ages and sex of the children in the families so they could choose appropriate gifts.

The club arranged fundraisers, such as a basketball scrimmage, which netted $1,600 for GRIN, Law said.

The high school's a cappella choir alone raised enough funds to provide gifts for four of the families. The other 10 families received gifts with funds raised through the sophomore classes.

GRIN is a nonprofit organization based out of the Mifflin Presbyterian Church. It is staffed by all volunteers and has been in existence since 1998. The organization provides food for families at Thanksgiving and gifts for families at Christmas, along with several other services, operating a food pantry in Mifflin Presbyterian. GRIN also provides school supplies, clothing, emergency home repair, financial aid for housing, help with utility payments and the cost of transportation for local families.

According to information from GRIN, in its first year of existence, the organization provided 19 families with food baskets and Christmas gifts.

Eleven years later, DECA provided Christmas gifts to almost that many families.

DECA is the high school division of Delta Epsilon Chi, a group that promotes educational opportunities for students who are interested in marketing, management and entrepreneurship, according to the organization's Web site. It has 5,000 chapters in the United States, Canada, Germany, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Guam, with 185,000 high school students.

Law said the Gahanna chapter has been working with GRIN all year to increase public relations for the organization. She said the students have helped with GRIN's Facebook page. Facebook is an Internet-based marketing and social-networking tool that could be used by individuals or companies.

DECA also has been broadcasting public-service announcements at the school.

Prior to working with GRIN, Law said, she had heard of the organization but didn't know much about it.

"We've been working really hard on it (public-relations campaign)," she said.

The club's goal is to help raise enough awareness that GRIN would not need its help next year.