In previous years, it was tradition for the students in the eighth grade to engage in a “Secret Santa” which allowed the opportunity for students to exchange gifts with one another.
2020, of course, has been anything but a normal year. Recognizing the hardships that many families have experienced this year, the eighth graders wanted to do something more impactful than simply give presents to one another.
Encouraged and guided by their advisors, Carrie Boyce, Katie Griffith, and Rebecca LaTour, along with technology Coordinator Kirsten Reynolds, the students came together with the idea of giving care packages to those in need. They chose to work with the Life Haven Shelter in New Haven, an organization which is especially significant to Ms. Reynolds.
“I have been working with and coming to this shelter for a number of years now and I just think it is so important to reach out and help these families that really need our support,” said Reynolds. “Carrie and Katie knew about my connection to this specific shelter and asked if I could arrange some way for the students to give supplies to the people staying there. I was able to reach out to Life Haven and they gave me ages and genders of the children there, and our students and their families did the rest!”
The eighth grade went above and beyond in their generosity. It was originally planned for every student to donate a drawstring bag which could be filled with personal items such as socks, blankets, snacks, pillow cases, and other things each child could use for their age. However, so many materials were donated that the drawstring bags became overstuffed with products, and bigger bags had to be used instead!
Ms. Reynolds collected all of the donations at the end of last week and brought them to the shelter on Sunday. While she was sad the students could not be with her to experience the joy their packages gave (due to COVID restrictions), she put together a video so they can see the incredible impact they made.
Thank you to all of our eighth graders and their families for their amazing generosity and keeping up the spirit of giving!