Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- With students out of school, the Columbia Urban League has geared up for its annual Christmas Giving Project.
"Boxing up packages for the elderly, and we're gonna give it out to them," said Marcus Jones, a student volunteer. "The Urban League, they helped me with a lot of stuff so I decided I could give back."
The 15-year-old joined nearly 60 other volunteers looking to pay forward the good fortune they have received throughout the year putting together boxes for the Urban League's annual Christmas Giving project.
Non-perishable food boxes topped with fresh bread, fruits and vegetables and meats will go home with about 350 elderly and less fortunate families in the Midlands.
Organizers say it costs about $50 to sponsor a box. The Urban League says donations for a radiothon and sponsor support helped make Christmas Giving possible.
"It's good to show people that you care and some people can't go out and get this stuff themselves so you give it to them to help," said 16-year-old Lauren Davis.
Many of the youth volunteers participate in different Urban League programs. There were also some players and coaches form the South Carolina Kings AAU Basketball Team as well.
Younger students were not the only ones getting in on the giving; Spartanburg Methodist College Student Brittany Allen says it is all part of the season.
"This is about the birth of Jesus, and not about taking gifts it's not about that stuff it's about helping other people around you," she said.
Anna Escarrega arrived to pick up a box. She says with a fixed income every little bit helps, but seeing the children working for others is the highlight.
"It's so encouraging to see the young people that are participating because that's our next generation and that's our hope so to see them here giving of themselves, sets the ground for when they become adults just to give back," said Escarrega.
"It's helping somebody out that needed it, instead of people that's fortunate and already have stuff. It's actually giving to somebody who really needs it, who can use it," said Jones.