PARISH – Students, staff members and the local community of Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Central School District came together during the holiday season, donating gifts that will bring joy to close to 200 students in the district.
With a struggling economy, money can be a little tight around the holidays.
Students and families that would benefit from a little help this year were identified by APW staff members.
Junior-Senior High School Spanish teacher Heather Stone and elementary school counselor Andrea Swan coordinated the “Giving Tree” donation efforts at each building.
“Every child deserves to have a special holiday, and we’re glad to help make that happen,” said Swan.
The junior-senior high school provided 60 students with boots, coats, snowpants and other needed items, and the elementary school made about 135 students’ holidays a little brighter with toys, hats, gloves and more.
Student and staff helpers, including the APW Girls’ Varsity and JV Basketball teams, volunteered on a Saturday to help organize, sort and pack the donated gifts at the elementary school.
“It’s a lot of work, but the look on the students’ faces when they come back to school after the holiday break with their new clothes on and new toys is priceless,” said Swan. “I think it’s what drives us to keep doing this year after year, knowing that they will have a good holiday despite the circumstances.”
Swan and Stone said that many “thank yous” are due to the APW faculty, APW parents, the Dugway United Methodist Church combined with other area churches, Toys for Tots, the Christ of Our Light Catholic Church in Pulaski, the Songs of the American Legion in Williamstown, Entergy Nuclear and Felix Schoeller North America, Inc. in Pulaski, who all generously contributed.
Entergy Nuclear has donated more than $5,000 just to the Junior-Senior High School “Giving Tree” between the years of 2007 and 2015.