OSWEGO, NY – The holiday season is a busy time throughout the Oswego City School District as once again a massive undertaking has been under way for the past several weeks in hopes of brightening this season for area families.
In all areas of the district there has been an effort to purchase gifts, food and supplies for area people who are in need.
Fitzhugh Park Elementary School Principal Donna Simmons said, “As we look forward to a happy and successful new year at Fitzhugh Park School, we should first take time to acknowledge the incredible school-wide care that moved us through December. The entire school community has been coming together for the Holiday Drive to help spread joy for everyone this holiday season. A special thanks to Therese McAdams and MaryAnn Murray for their tremendous time and effort in coordinating this huge drive. Another thank you to the parent volunteers who assisted in sorting, shopped, or helped pack boxes.”
This year, 45 Fitzhugh Park families which included 150 children, were assisted as donations came from Novelis, NRG, Ladies of the Elks, The Children’s Board, Entergy, Constellation, YMCA, Century 21, JC Penney, Wal-Mart, Eagle Beverage, Kiwanis, Raby’s, Toys for Tots, The Radiation Protection Department of Entergy, Oswego Hospital, Lake City Police, People Against Poverty, Kevin Dorsey, the Education Center, faculty and staff at FPS.
“And, I’m sure we will have more as we get closer to delivery. Also, I would like to give a special thank you to George Broadwell and Steamers for their help with our search for the best priced turkeys,” Simmons added.
“We even had donations from some of our student’s and their grandparents. Pearl Walpole, a grandparent of some of our former FPS students made us some beautiful knitted hats,” she continued. “And with the help of some employees of Entergy from Radiation Protection, YMCA and Eagle Beverage we had everything delivered.”
Once again the folks at the Frederick Leighton Elementary School rallied around their school community.
School Nurse Toni Hackett R.N., said, “The 2010 Christmas project was made a joyous event for 29 of our families. Food and gifts were able to be provided through the generous donations that were received from the FLS faculty and staff, community members, the Entergy Adopt a School grant, Wal-Mart, Lake City Police Club, Oswego Children’s Board, Newman Center People Against Poverty Committee, Elks Ladies Auxiliary #271 and the Ancient Order of the Hibernians.”
Meanwhile, the Leighton School Character Education Club decorated food boxes for families who needed a little extra support at the holiday time.
“As always, the FLS Home and School Association showed tremendous support not only during the holiday season,” the principal said.
Another 29 families had their holiday season a little brighter due to the holiday project at the Kingsford Park Elementary School where a total of 84 children were assisted.
Generous donations were made by the Ladies of the Elks, Entergy, Wal-Mart, Big M, the Children’s Board, the KPS Home and School Association, KPS faculty and staff members as well as numerous community members, retired teachers and numerous others.
The Minetto Holiday Drive assisted 30 families this holiday season.
School Nurse Ann Powell noted, “This would not have been possible without the support of the Town of Oswego Historical Society, the Oswego Center Methodist Church, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, the Minetto Historical Society, the Minetto United Methodist Church, the Children’s Board, Oswego Hospital Pharmacy staff, Elks Ladies Auxiliary #2761, employees at Littlepage Dining Hall of SUNY Oswego, the Maintenance Department at Entergy, Entergy Operations JAF, Greco’s Farm, Wal-Mart and Stewart’s as well as the students, faculty and staff of the Minetto Elementary School.”
The Charles E. Riley Elementary School also supported a wide ranging holiday giving project to serve numerous families and children in that Oswego school.
Donations and helping others wasn’t simply limited to the elementary schools.
At Oswego High School the National Honor Society made four $100 donations in the past two months to Meals on Wheels, ARC of Oswego County, the Human Concerns and a local family in need.
Nurse Christina Chamberlain noted that there were numerous projects and assistance efforts.
She said, “This year we have been using the contribution from Entergy to assist our students. We have purchased pajamas and slippers, 40 to 50 sets for our female students. For our male students we purchased 40 to 50 sweatshirts, shirts and jackets. The total for these purchases was close to $1,000. With the remaining $500 we purchased boots, hats, mittens and any other items our students may need.”
Continuing she said, “Our staff and faculty are providing full holiday meals for 25 families. We will also be providing food for the week of vacation including peanut, butter and jelly, soups, pasta and sauce and cereal. Faculty and staff have also donated money for gift cards. I don’t know how many cards yet. Historically we do one hundred $30 gift cards.”
Meanwhile, at Oswego Middle School donations from People Against Poverty, the Lake City Police Club, Entergy, Compass Federal Credit Union and the Children’s Board along with students and staff helped provide four families with a complete Christmas dinner, and 50 students with gift certificates for movies, bowling and books.
Other holiday giving projects were also supported at the Education Center, the Transportation Center and the District Warehouse.
Helping others has been a tradition during the holiday season for the Oswego City School District and once again many people benefited from the community wide efforts to help others in what should be a joyous time of year.