JaxTHRIVE's Holiday-in-a-Bucket fosters happiness, connection


In the spirit of compassion and community, JaxTHRIVE, a teen-led nonprofit committed to supporting refugee students, organized a holiday event that brought smiles and excitement to the faces of newly arrived refugee students. Their Holiday-in-a-Bucket initiative, held each December, highlights JaxTHRIVE’s mission to impart hope and solidarity to families navigating the challenges of resettlement by connecting student volunteers with refugee students during a festive season that is oftentimes unfamiliar to them.

This year, the JaxTHRIVE student team prepared 56 customized holiday buckets, each filled to the brim with treats, essential items, gift cards and motivational holiday cards that make their students feel special. Volunteers from the Ponte Vedra High, Bolles, Episcopal and Paxton High School JaxTHRIVE clubs all helped prepare the baskets.

The newly established Bolles Middle School JaxTHRIVE club also played an important role, as they coordinated efforts to prepare an impressive 25 holiday buckets. The involvement of these young volunteers underscores the significance of cultivating a sense of responsibility towards the broader community.

The basket presentation took place during the final JaxTHRIVE Super Saturday session of the year. Celebration and camaraderie filled the atmosphere, as each JaxTHRIVE student was presented with a customized holiday bucket. The event was more than a distribution of gifts; it was a moment of connection, friendship and happiness that broke down cultural barriers. As the camp bus pulled away at day’s end, the children eagerly waved and joyfully exclaimed, “Thank you!” to all the volunteers. The gratitude expressed by the recipients echoed the success of JaxTHRIVE's Annual Holiday-in-a-Bucket initiative.