VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Renee Kanuth is ready to help News 3 with a special surprise at Virginia Beach's Arrowhead Elementary.
With the help of the school principal and guidance counselor, we're headed down the hallways on our way to meet the guest of honor, Sarah Muth, a recently retired Virginia Beach educator who continues to take action. We found her in a room wrapping Christmas presents for kids whose families have fallen on hard times.
We told Sarah it was Renee who told us about her special efforts via an email that Renee read:
"This year, Sarah has retired from the school. However, her coordination of toys to needy children is continuing. These are kids who have had something happen in the family; too late to sign up for Toys For Tots or Angel Trees; Mom or Dad may have lost their job or an unexpected medical issue may cause the family to not be able to purchase gifts this year."
This hits close to home for Renee because about 12 years ago when her family was facing a challenging situation and it was unclear what kind of Christmas her two grandsons were going to have, Sarah stepped in. That meant so much to Renee.
"I hadn't even thought about Christmas when it happened... hadn't even thought about it!" she said. "And for her to show up where I work with two bags of toys and clothes - it was like a miracle!
For about 20 years Sarah has helped organize this effort, reaching out to co-workers and the business community to get donated gifts - making sure students and their families going through tough times will have something under the tree.
That's why News 3 presented Sarah with a People Taking Action award, along with a $300 Visa gift card from our community partner, Southern Bank.
Sarah was grateful but modest about her role. That's not surprising to Arrowhead School Counselor Brittney West.
"She just gives and wants it to be so humble. She doesn't want any accolades, no acknowledgment... she just wants to do it and be behind the scenes," Brittney told us.
For Sarah, it's just the right thing to do.
"When someone is in need - something may have happened all of a sudden - to be able to say, 'Look, I can help you. I have connections; I can help you,'" Sarah said.
And that's what she enjoys doing!
Do you know someone who's worthy of a People Taking Action award? Click here to nominate them!