Reporting with Hills Pride

The Trailblazer

Reporting with Hills Pride

The Trailblazer

Reporting with Hills Pride

The Trailblazer

Project Paterson Annual Toy Drive

Project Paterson, which was formerly run by Ms. Harmon and Mrs. Horn and is currently advised by Ms. Lutz and Ms. Mahaffey, sponsored a toy drive this month.

“I always thought that Project Paterson was a wonderful community service club,” Ms. Mahaffey says, in regards to running the club. “Attending the school [in Paterson] and taking part in various activities is such a rewarding experience.”

These activities include visiting classrooms, teaching/leading mini-lessons, assisting with homework, and volunteering at different school events such as carnivals and festivals. The main goal of this club is “[to give] back to the community,” because not only is it fun and satisfying, but also important.

Last year, the same toy drive was held at Pascack Hills. The goal was 500 toys, however, only 435 toys were collected. With this in mind, the goal remained 500 toys, yet a pleasantly surprising 893 toys, which is more than double the amount received last year!

Next year, Ms. Mahaffey is hoping to increase the goal to 1,000 toys, since this year was such a success. “I still can’t believe that we collected 893 toys…the students and staff at Hills were so generous. I am so appreciative of all the students that brought in toys and I cannot thank the teachers enough.”

Mrs. Goodman, Mrs. Schwartzman, Ms. Gaeta, Madame Conboy, and Dr. Bill encouraged their students to bring in toys to support this cause.  Project Paterson members Jackie Tsontakis (senior), Romy Conrad (senior), Sara Wexler (senior), Dennis Dash (junior), Johnathan Pollock (junior), Zoe Pillar (sophomore), and Julia Martini (sophomore) helped with the counting after school on December 17th (pictured below).

On December 17th, the New Jersey Community Development Corporation (NJCDC) came to Pascack Hills to collect the toys; they were amazed by the number of toys collected, especially because they would not all fit in the van, so the remaining toys will be taken in Ms. Schwartzman’s car.

The toys will go to the NJCDC and will then be separated by age and gender. Different high schools go to the NJCDC in Paterson to wrap the presents; on December 19th, Pascack Hills Project Paterson club members will go to assist in the wrapping.

There, on a piece of paper each family name will be listed along with the names, genders, and ages of all the kids. Students will then break into groups and go “shopping”—each child will receive one big gift and one small gift selected for him or her.

The toys will then go to a wrapping station where club members will wrap each gift. Once that is completed, all the toys will go into an enormous box.

On Christmas Eve, the NJCDC hosts a celebration with catered food and all the recipient families. Last year 850 families were helped, whereas this year there will be 1,000 families. At this event, all the individual families will have their own tables and Santa will be there with little helpers to give out the gifts to the children.

This event is so special for the children because for most of them, this will be the only Christmas celebration they will attend and possibly the only gifts they will receive.

The Project Paterson annual toy drive was a success, thanks to the assistance of the Pascack Hills Student body and faculty members.


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