The holidays are a dark time for a mother who recently lost her son, but Kylie Joles knew chocolate would bring some light to a group of students at the Boys and Girls Club of La Plata County.
“When I won the drawing, I was trying to think how to donate it,” Joles said. “I was researching orphanages, then I realized I wanted to do something local, so I picked the Boys and Girls Club, because they do so much good in the community.”
T.C., who was 13 at the time of his death, was a member of the club, attending frequently as an elementary student and occasionally once he hit middle school.
“This was a good way to talk about his memory,” said Megan Hayes, unit director of the club. “We wanted to keep it positive, so everyone was assigned someone else in the club, and they were asked to write three things about why that person is wonderful.”
The group then gathered together and read what had been written in what the club had designated as The Kindness Project.
“We talked about how good it feels to hear something good about yourself, and how good it feels to say something nice about someone else,” Hayes said. “Then we took a hammer and shattered the Santa, and everyone dove in.”
The 50 students managed to demolish about half the Santa, with the remainder of the chocolate going next door to Game Time at the Durango Community Recreation Center.
“T.C. was crazy about chocolate, and he would have lived on it if he could,” Joles said. “He would have been happy to eat the whole Santa. When he was 2, we went to an Easter egg hunt, and he won an Easter basket with an Easter bunny bigger than he was.”
Wednesday was a day the students won’t forget, Hayes said.
“We can’t thank Kylie enough,” she said. “Now, we’re enjoying a north Main (Avenue) sugar high.”