Holiday Issue: 2016
U-Knighting for the holidays


KingsUKnights  assists families in need around the Kings district, and this is the time of year when their efforts are most visible.

In addition to helping families out during the holidays by providing food and other goods, the group has a Giving Tree at the high school. The Giving Tree connects Kings families in need with people willing to help with their Christmas wishes.  

Kings staff member Wendy Longwell organizes the high school’s Giving Tree each year.

“We work with KingsUKnights, which is a group that helps local kings families in need,” she said. “They give me the names and gift requests and we put the items on an ornament on the tree. Students and faculty take the requests and return with gifts.”

Each school in the district has their own tree. Students and faculty can choose what they would like to buy for another family.

“I can only imagine how great it must feel to know that people care enough to help,” Long well said, “We hope to continue to grow this program to the point that we can help more and more families every year.”


High school classes also get involved. This year the high school class that collected the most gifts won a pizza party. This year that was Carrie Snyder’s class, with 40 items. The next closest class was Casey Abrams with 21.

Melissa Kowitz, a KingsUKnights organizer, said the group also has other programs for the holidays.

“Our goal is to find community resources to help these families in their time of need,” she said. “For Christmas, we provide 3 small gifts for each child, which are given to the family unwrapped (along with wrapping paper and tape), so that the parent/guardian can take ownership on Christmas morning.”

KingsUKnights also partners with Joshua’s Place and the Deerfield/Mason Rotary to provide meals for the families.

“There are many ways to get involved. Community organizations donate food and gift cards,” said Kowitz.

Sponsoring a child costs about $75 and helps provide 2 clothing items and a toy for Christmas.

Donations of gift cards, wrapping paper and tape are accepted. For more information contact


by Juste Kirieliute and Emilee Charneski

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