Fifty-five children in Worthington will find just what they wanted under the tree this year, thanks to the students at Worthington Kilbourne High School.

Fifty-five children in Worthington will find just what they wanted under the tree this year, thanks to the students at Worthington Kilbourne High School.

As they do every year, the students "adopted" families from the community, filling the wish lists of youngsters whose parents who could not afford to make sure Santa made his visit.

The students donated more than $8,000 this year, topping their $7,000 goal. That meant that every child received approximately $140 worth of gifts, and the families received gift cards for food and other necessities.

The money for gifts stretched even further because Target and Meier's discounted the gifts purchased there.

Last Wednesday night, Dec. 16, the Kilbourne students went shopping to fill the lists of the children who had been referred to the Adopt-A-Family program, which is run through St. Michael Church in Worthington.

The student shoppers were armed with the names and ages of their adopted children, along with sizes, preferences and a list of things the children wanted.

On Thursday morning, Kilbourne students gathered in the commons area at the school to wrap the packages, which were picked up and delivered on Saturday morning by members of the Dublin-Worthington Rotary Club.

Kilbourne sophomore Meredith Schram wrapped a teddy bear, clothes, a Barbie doll and Play Dough for 2-year-old Karely, and a Barbie house and pool Karely could share with her 3-year-old sister. The girls will also get something extra.

"We bought them tutus to dance around in," Schram said.

It is great to be able to do something for people in need who live in your community, she said.

"I know with the economy, bad things are happening and I'm happy we can still give these kids a Christmas," she said.

One 12-year-old boy will probably like the coat that was purchased at a trendy store that caters to teenagers. Kilbourne junior Will Bishop works there, so he spent his employee discount on the jacket, and his employer threw in an extra savings as well.

"I got a $90 jacket for $13," he said.

The students bought for four children in that family. They are ages 5, 9, 12, and 13.

The children served by the program range in age from 6 months to 13 years.

Bishop said he understands the importance of what the students did, maybe better than some.

"Coming from humble beginnings myself, I wish I had had this," he said.

He hopes the community recognizes how much the students put into the Adopt-A-Family project each year.

"Teenagers aren't just running around like hoodlums," he said. "We actually do things that benefit the community."

The school's student council organizes the project each year. Katherine O'Harra, treasurer of the student body, was in charge. Each year, that job goes to the person in that position.

"This is one of the students' favorite activities, it gets them the most excited," she said. "It is one of the reasons I decided to be student body treasurer."