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LI students collect gifts to donate



By Michael R. Ebert   December 14, 2017

Long Island students learned the importance of giving in recent weeks, as dozens of local schools held holiday gift collections to benefit children in need, both locally and abroad.

In Elwood, the high school’s World Language Honor Society filled 72 shoe boxes with school supplies and gifts such as stuffed animals and coloring books as part of Operation Christmas Child, a project of the humanitarian aid organization Samaritan’s Purse. Last year, the honor society collected 50 boxes during its first year participating in the project.

“It’s growing,” Nicole Gendjoian, the honor society’s co-adviser, said of the group’s collection efforts compared with last year. “It’s also humbling for our students and makes them truly appreciate what they have.”

In Commack, John Mandracchia-Sawmill Intermediate School’s Student Council held a “Pajama Jammie Jam” that collected 102 pairs of pajamas and 140 books for children in need through the nonprofit Pajama Program. The effort also raised $175 for the nonprofit, which can provide one child with pajamas and a book for every $10 donation.

In Huntington, the high school’s Key Club collected hundreds of hats, gloves and socks through a “Warm Hands, Warm Hearts” drive to benefit the Family Service League. The club also held a toy drive and took local underprivileged children shopping at Target.

In Ronkonkoma, students attending the middle school’s winter dance this month were asked to bring an unwrapped toy for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program.