FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Before people welcomed in 2017, Fort Rucker Primary School made sure to end 2016 on a good note by providing to those in need.

Before heading home for the holidays, FRPS students held their annual Share Assembly Dec. 15 to present bags of food to local charity organizations after a food drive to benefit the surrounding communities, according to Deborah Deas, FRPS principal.

"Our school's vision states that one of our goals is to prepare our students socially to be responsible citizens in a world that is always changing," Deas said. "We recognize that there are families in our community and surrounding areas who are in need. Students have done an outstanding job in collecting cans and boxes of food to help many people."

Students collected cans and boxes of food over the course of six weeks to be distributed to food banks in Daleville, Dothan, Ozark and Enterprise. Not only does this give the children an opportunity to give back to the community, but it also teaches them a valuable lesson in social responsibility.

Representatives from each of the food banks attended the assembly to receive the bags, and showed their appreciation to the students and school for the gift of food they provided to families in need.

"I'm just very pleased to be here, and this is my second time to come for this occasion," said Mike Murphee, Westgate Church of Christ. "I recall one thing very significant in my memory, and that's how well behaved this group of children is -- and you're not only nice and well behaved, you're also very generous, too, and I certainly appreciate that."

"Each year our rescue mission gives out bags of food to families in our communities in Dale County and we're giving over 300 bags of food out this year," said Tom Nixon, Dale County Rescue Mission, during the ceremony. "Your contribution goes a long way in helping us provide that and help people have a Merry Christmas with their families."

For Pastor Lee Jones, Daleville First United Methodist Church, the food that the children and the school provided was what he saw as the true meaning of Christmas.

"I was just amazed at the Christmas spirit that I observed here today with all of the sharing that's going on," he said. "When I think about all of this you have all given here today and the sharing that you're doing, that's the true spirit of Christmas and I thank you for having that today -- thank you so much."