Holiday Fundraising Efforts at Staples

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by Constance Chien ’10 and Pippa Hazlewood ’11

When the holidays come around, so do holiday-related fundraisers and drives. Some good-willed holiday initiatives set up by the Staples community include the paper white bulbs fundraiser and the Junior Class Committee Holiday Wish List Drive for the Center for Women and Families of Eastern Fairfield County, as well as the “Rebecca Chusid Holiday Toy Drive” and a “Holiday Action Party” held by Amnesty International.

The purpose of the Junior Class Committee’s fundraiser is to collect items for the Center for Women and Children of Eastern Fairfield County, a domestic violence shelter. The items collected will go to women and children who have come, and they need basic items. Social studies teacher Carol Avery is the adviser for the Junior Class Committee.

“These women and children need help with some of the basic necessities, especially if they leave an abusive relationship suddenly — they leave their homes with nothing,” said Avery. “Especially around the holidays it’s important to help other people who are going through difficult situations in their lives.”

Among the items on its wish list (which can be found here) are clothing and diapers, as well as items like gift cards.

Items will be collected from December 8 to 12 in social studies classrooms, and they may also be put in the Main Lobby. Students may volunteer to help deliver the items to the shelter on December 12 after school.

Though not for charity, the paper white bulbs fundraiser is a way in which the horticulture classes raise money for their supplies and expenses.
“The two horticulture classes grow the bulbs and sell them at blooming time,” said horticulture teacher Cecilia Duffy.

Approximately forty bulbs in total will be sold, and about half have been sold so far.

Every year since 1995 the Chusid family has held the “Rebecca Chusid Holiday Toy Drive”. It began as a way to honor their deceased daughter, Rebecca Chusid, and has developed into giving back to society.

“It’s a good way to bring out the holiday spirit of giving,” said Jenna Chusid’ 10, sister of Rebecca Chusid.

There are boxes set up for collection all around the town, and after the boxes are collected, donations can be sent to the Chusids’ house.

Once the drive closes, the some 200 toys will be sent to various different organizations, such as Yale New Haven Hospital, Make a Wish Foundation, Hole in the Wall Gang, and many more.

Also in the holiday spirit, the local Amnesty International group held a Holiday Card Action Party.  Non-religious holiday cards were sent to prisoners of conscience all over the world.  Group members gathered to help on December 8th, and again on December 10th, International Human Rights Day.

“The idea is to encourage them to keep their spirits high while Amnesty works to free them,” said Staples Amnesty International club president, Sitara Mahtani.

This event is held annually and will come around again next year.