For over 20 years, Hamilton AM Rotary members hosted a Christmas Pancake breakfast for students and staff at Hess Street School.  With COVID restrictions not allowing volunteers in the school, late in 2020 club members started a Christmas Gift Bag program and this was recently repeated on December 16 of this year.
Every child took home a bag full of candy, essentials like socks, mitts tooth brush and tooth paste, an apple, a drink and other snacks. The Grade 8 students received a scientific calculator and all received a plush toy.  Many club members donated items for the bags and others made cash donations for purchased items.  
Also, one Grade 8 student selected by lottery took home his or her very own refurbished laptop!
A very special thanks to Rami Safi from Shoppers Drug Mart and Maggie Gourley and Casey Neal from Altima Hess Village Dental Centre who made sure we had enough tooth brushes and tooth paste to handle the candy and other treats contained in the gift bags.  Other important donors were Frank Raso from Karma Candy, the Salvation Army for wonderful stuffed animals and Good Shepherd for chocolate bars.  
Finally, we are grateful for the donation of a book for every student due to the generosity of First Book Canada and Hamilton Public Library.  Many hands working together resulted in an excellent Christmas surprise for Hess Street School Students!
COVID has affected many school programs but has not dimmed the spirit of Hamilton AM  Rotary members who wish all the students and staff of Hess Street School a happy and healthy holiday season!