VERNON - The faculty and staff of Vernon High School and Vernon Middle school were able to provide a group of students with a memorable Christmas this year thanks to a very special gift to the school.

According to Principal Brian Riviere, the Washington County Schools were given a monetary gift of $15,000 by an anonymous donor who had one wish - the money go to a good cause and assist our students.

Riviere said the schools in Vernon allocated $2500 to each school. Vernon Elementary, he said, purchased 25 $100 gift cards to go to deserving families. Vernon Middle and Vernon High, purchased 31 gift cards at $166 each.

"We bought a 31st card due to two of three siblings being selected," Riviere said. "We didn’t want one sibling to come home without something while the others were recognized."

The students were nominated by both staffs as being deserving, compassionate to others, or simply due to struggles they’ve endured, according to Riviere. He said the schools only asked that they remember the message of this gift and to get something for their family as well.

"Many have never been able to purchase a special gift for a brother or sister, mother or father, or significant caregiver," he said. "Our students are simply blessed beyond measure to have received this donation. It provided Christmas for our students and their families that may not have been possible without the charitable donation."

Riviere said that as the students got off the bus in the parking lot, one young lady said she "didn’t deserve this." He said other students wanted to give the anonymous donor a hug for doing this, and several just sat smiling trying to fathom if this was a joke or not.