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December 22, 2017

The week started full of holiday cheer thanks to Hillsborough Schools Operations Department, who made it possible for 63 Lopez ESC (Exceptional Student Center) students to receive beautifully wrapped presents that were delivered to them by the magical Transportation Express.

This year the Division of Operations has adopted Lopez ESC and have extended an invitation to other district divisions to support the cause by adopting an Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Center, and encouraging their employees and community members to contribute items during a month-long donation campaign, #JoyofGiving.

The Transportation department brought along their Transportation Express Train for Santa and his helpers to pass out presents to the kids. The train was created by personal donations from the transportation department staff and their fundraising efforts. The train even has a sound system and festive snow for all to see and hear.  

“Our Holiday Program was capped off with gifts delivered by Santa aboard the Transportation Express, which wouldn’t have been possible without the generosity of the operations division—and for that we are very appreciative,” said Joe Hillbush, site administrator at Lopez ESC.

Throughout the day, Carey Hunt who has taught Music at Lopez ESC for 30 years, entertained students with holiday sing-a-longs, along with his friend and proud Lopez supporter, James “Chris” Overstreet who has been participating in the holiday program for over 20 years.

“This is a unique event at Lopez, giving back to the community giving a little bit of light and hope and laughter for the children, with so many employees taking part in this and making it happen,” said Harlan Ware, logistics operations manager.

One parent from Lopez ESC was beaming with joy sharing that her son has never opened a gift on his own and this was the first time he has received a gift and opened it on his own.

The operations division is certainly in the spirit of giving and the team enjoyed working together to bring joy to the students at Lopez ESC, ensuring their holidays wishes come true this year.

To learn more about Lopez ESC, visit:

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