Belmont Ridge Ignites the Love

Santa’s workshop has nothing on Belmont Ridge Middle School.

Well into the night on Friday, December 14th, Belmont Ridge’s “elves” were working to make the holidays happier for those in need as part of the Bright Life Buddies fifth annual toy drive. The toy drive was titled “Ignite the Love” and there was love in virtually every corner of the school as students and volunteers prepared gifts. More than 800 items were donated, including bikes, toys, clothing, blankets and gift cards.

The gifts were distributed at a breakfast on Saturday, December 15th. Guests were invited from multiple schools throughout Loudoun County through the parent liaison at each school. A hot breakfast with pancakes, eggs, ham, potatoes, fruit, apple juice, coffee, milk and water was provided. 148 students and their families were served. 

Martin Witt and Richmond Johnson from SOS Music Studios provided entertainment for the event.

On Monday, December 17th, Bright Life Buddies traveled to Amidon-Bowen Elementary School in Washington, D.C., to give out coats and snack bags in three classrooms.

Bright Life Buddies, which is sponsored by special education teacher Telaya Dennis, is dedicated to establishing a volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships and leadership development for all students. Students become inspirational leaders and make lifelong friendships. The organization has 32 members at Belmont Ridge.

An army of volunteers helped with the gift preparation on Friday night. Among the groups and organizations providing volunteers were:

  • Belmont Ridge Staff & Students
  • Bright Life Buddies
  • Ignite Kingdom Church International
  • Smart’s Mill Middle School
  • Riverside High School Key Club
  • Potomac Running
  • The Word Church
  • Loudoun County Public Schools parents and families
  • Phenom Strength & Conditioning
  • Master Deputy Charles Gravatte of the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office
  • Gabriel’s Episcopal Church
  • Girlfriends Ink

Businesses and organizations making contributions to the event included Dick’s Sporting Goods; the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office; MOD Pizza; Walmart; Chick-Fil-A; Deli-Italiano; Costco; Target and Giant.