Sacred Heart Academy students give back to 30 local families by opening a Christmas market and offering brand-new toys at low prices.

The Academy students were encouraged to choose gifts from their own Christmas gifts to donate to the Christmas market. Students, parishioners and local businesses bought and wrapped gifts to turn the gymnasium into a shopping center on Saturday, Dec. 10.

Families were invited to the market by recommendation. The gifts available costs between $1 and $3 -- the money raised will go to next year's market.

Students also donated $1,000 to God's Kitchen, a Catholic Charities West Michigan program that serves meals in the Heartside Neighborhood in Grand Rapids.

“The Christmas Market is a unique work of charity. Like other gift drives, it provides Christmas gifts for those children who might otherwise not receive them," Headmaster Sean Maltbie said.

"But more importantly, it provides the parents of those children with the opportunity to purchase those gifts themselves and experience the spiritual joy that comes with being the giver of the gift in the first instance.”

Sacred Heart Academy students plan on presenting a to God’s Kitchen Program Supervisor, Jeff Hoyh, during an assembly at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 14.