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Local Businesses Bring Christmas to Nearly 3 Dozen Kids

TradeNet, a local business group, continued its efforts to assist local students in need.

TradeNet member Heidi Brotherton (center) spends time with some children at the holiday party hosted at the Gambrills General Store. (Credit: Tim Lemke)
TradeNet member Heidi Brotherton (center) spends time with some children at the holiday party hosted at the Gambrills General Store. (Credit: Tim Lemke)
In the Odenton area, there are dozens of students who attend local schools but don't have a permanent place to rest their head. 

A group of local businesses on Wednesday continued their efforts to help these homeless kids with a holiday party at the Gambrills General Store. 

The party was held by TradeNet, a group that includes seven independent businesses in the Odenton and Gambrills area. 

TradeNet member Greg Mazzella, who owns a local investigative service, said the party was part of an ongoing effort to assist the students and their families with basic needs throughout the year. 

"They are right here in this community, that's the thing," Mazzella said. "We are helping the families where our business are."

TradeNet has worked directly with Anne Arundel County Public Schools to find the students in need and offer help when needed. Financial support comes directly from TradeNet's dues. 

Lauren Stoesser, a pupil personnel worker with AACPS, said TradeNet members have been helpful in providing students with basic needs including clothing, hygiene products even blankets and sheets.

"If I have a need, they are on it," Stoesser said. 

Students include those living temporarily with relatives or friends. Some live at the Royal Inn in Odenton or other motels.

At Wednesday's event, students got stockings with toys, games and warm clothing, and munched on cookies and other treats.

TradeNet members include the Gambrills General Store, Mazzella Investigative Services, Little House of Flowers and Walt Eger's Service Center among others. 

TradeNet said it will continue to support students throughout the year with basic needs and will even look to assist them in finding summer camps. 

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