SUNBURY, Pa. -- Before they left for Christmas break, students at Shikellamy High School in Sunbury gathered in the school's auditorium for a quick assembly. They were there to thank some familiar faces at the school people who do what is sometimes a thankless job: the janitors.
"This all came to light after a rash of vandalism in some of the restrooms at Shikellamy High School earlier this year.
'The custodians really were the ones getting hurt the most by this," said senior Derek Mathews.
Mathews, Abeyni Delgado, Chloe Troutman, and Camden Hare are seniors at Shikellamy High School and came up with the idea for "Operation: Appreciation."
"They're just always smiling, always helping, always friendly. I'm like we should really just do something to thank them," Mathews said.
"The kids would just take out change, bring money, whatever if their parents wanted to donate. It turned into this huge thing that we never thought could happen," said senior Abeyni Delgado.
With donations from the community, as well as from other students, the four friends collected more than $1,500 to buy Christmas presents for the janitors.
"Today was wonderful," said custodian Cathy Fenstermacher. "We really appreciated all the kids that did this, got together. It was very sweet, very touching."
The students bought gift cards, personalized water bottles, and more.
"This was such a surprise," said custodian Donna Rothermel. "(We had) no idea. This was a wonderful surprise."