MANORVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Students from an East End school spent the entire month of December fundraising, and families who expected little or nothing this Christmas are in for a heartwarming surprise.

“I’ve heard nothing but joyful feeling from everybody in the community,” said student volunteer Taylor Smith.

All 30 clubs within Eastport-South Manor Junior-Senior High School joined in.

“Language Honor Society was a part of this and we basically put all the ornaments up and people would grab them throughout the month of December,” said volunteer Brooke Stevens.

The campaign to help needy organizations was far-reaching: a giving-tree answered orphans’ wishes, letter writing for lonely seniors, donations for the local pantry, animal food for community pet shelters, 1,200 items of clothing, and an “Adopt a Platoon” aid effort for the troops.

Two recent graduates are in Afghanistan and won’t make it home for Christmas. One is the brother of Chelsea Anderson.

“I just want to send him thanks for everything that he does,” she said.

Students, parents and teachers drove Friday to local charities to drop off the donations, surprising hundreds of needy families who expected to receive nothing this Christmas.

“When they receive gifts like this it gives them hope during the holiday season and makes us feel good about ourselves,” said volunteer Brittany Tesoriero.

Among those receiving aid are Maureen’s Haven in Riverhead, the Cedar Lodge Nursing Home in Center Moriches, and foster families in Manorville.

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