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NACS Transportation department delivers presents to school employees

NACS Christmas Tree
Ella Abbott
Presents are gathered near the Christmas tree inside Northwest Allen County Schools' Transportation building on Tuesday, December 20, 2022, before being loaded onto a bus to go to the schools.

Every year, Northwest Allen County Schools’ transportation department “adopts” families of employees who need some extra help during the holidays.

NACS transportation director Natalie Hoffman donned a full Christmas outfit, complete with jingling elf slippers, to deliver gifts to Maple Creek Middle School.

For six years, the transportation department has created a giving tree for employees who need some help during the holidays. The employees are nominated by their fellow coworkers and then a wish list is created.

Bus drivers, mechanics, office staff and some school administrators help buy the gifts.

“It’s a way for us to give back to the NACS community that has given us so much, because it takes a village to make our department really successful.” Hoffman said.

Gifts are gathered beneath a tree at the transportation department building behind Maple Creek. On the day of the drop off, they’re loaded onto a school bus – this particular one decorated to look like a reindeer – and delivered to the front office of each of four schools in the district.

Hoffman said she’s not surprised by the giving spirit from her department.

“It takes a big heart and a lot of caring personalities to be a bus driver," she said. "So, when it comes time to give back, it’s not even a question in our minds, we just want to do it.”

Ella Abbott is a multimedia reporter for 89.1 WBOI. She is a strong believer in the ways audio storytelling can engage an audience and create a sensory experience.