A local church is being sweet on education workers this holiday season.

School staff in or around Huntsville can come by the parking lot of Bethel Huntsville at 35 Silverwood Dr. on Saturday, Dec. 11th to pick up a free box of Christmas cookies and coffee vouchers from Henrietta’s Pine Bakery in Huntsville, as well as listen to some carols.

Bethel’s Minister Ted Leck says it’s not limited to teachers. Anyone who works at a school is welcome.

“Administrators, custodial staff, principals, teachers, any workers in the schools can come and get a free box of Christmas cookies and a free coffee,” says Leck. “It’s our way of giving back to our teachers, thanking them as they walk through this pandemic.”

The event is part of Bethel’s 12 Days of Christmas Give Back, which has supported a different local organization each day since the start of the month, such as donating 500 pounds of food to the fire department’s Project Porchlight food drive.

Bethel previously held an appreciation event for healthcare workers in September. Leck says they haven’t forgotten that education workers have been struggling as well.

“They’ve had to make so many different adjustments and we’ve just seen the big strain on teachers. And [it’s] not just teachers. The workers, the custodial staff have to disinfect the schools continually,” says Leck. “There’s a lot of pressure. It’s just a simple way for us to say thanks for what you’re doing and for looking after our kids.”

While the event will focus on the Huntsville area, Leck says everyone is welcome, similar to the healthcare appreciation event.

“Even if somebody came from out of town, we wouldn’t turn them away,” says Leck. “Last time, there was a healthcare worker from Parry Sound, and one from Barrie, and we gave them both Beaver Tails.”

Leck encourages people to come out to cheer on their education workers.

The carol concert will run from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., and the cookies will be given out starting at about 6:40 p.m.. The concert will also be broadcast from a short-range radio transmitter so people can listen from their cars.