Nagel Middle School
Pennies and quarters at a time, students from Wilson Elementary, Summit Elementary, and Nagel Middle School collected nearly $7,000 in change to purchase holiday gifts for more than 200 needy local families who participate in Beech Acres Parenting Center programs. They bought their presents at the Anderson Target store last week and I had so much fun taking their pictures. It was part of the Shop & Share Holiday Project, a Beech Acres Parenting Center tradition. Forest Hills students and Beech Acres supporters raise money and shop for families facing financial hardships.
“For every $100 that the students donate, we are able to help another family. It’s been so exciting for them each morning when we announce how many families they’ve helped that day,” said Jen Schlosser, who coordinated the school fund-raising efforts. “The kids are surprised and humbled by all the things that people are asking for.”
An estimated 205 Beech Acres families will receive gifts this year. Now that is a good thing!
In my job, I am so lucky to have the opportunity to work side-by-side truly caring people who are working to make this world a better place. The Beech Acres Parenting Center’s Adopt-a-Family Program this holiday season was high up on the list.
Several weeks ago I came home from the Anderson Target store so touched by the huge turnout of shoppers – over 350 kids and parents– who were there with a purpose…to shop for those in our community who can’t afford right now to buy holiday presents themselves. Beech Acres volunteers and staff had a wish list that was given to each group.
The nearly $8000 used to purchase the wish lists came from students at Wilson Elementary, Ayer Elementary and Nagel Middle School who gave up their allowances and collected their change so that they could brighten the season for others. Additionally, individuals and families also adopted families through Beech Acres.
Then, last week, the Beech Acres Anderson Township campus was transformed into a Santa’s workshop as over 250 volunteers came to wrap all 1600 gifts to be delivered by Beech Acres just in time for the holidays. What was so special was seeing so many of the same faces at the gift wrapping event as were shopping the week before, and most of them were also donors. Children told me how they saved their coins or did extra chores to give to the collection. They liked knowing they were helping someone else.
The Adopt-a-Family committee included: Jennifer Claudy, BAPC development services officer; Alison Bushman, BAPC board member; Missy Meurer, chair of BAPC Adopt-a-Family Committee; Patrick Nugent, BAPC vice president for development; Kim Koelle, BAPC Adopt-a-Family volunteer; Jen Schlosser, BAPC Adopt-a-Family volunteer and school coordinator