Some young Black Knights will enjoy a brighter Holiday season thanks to the efforts of the Binghamton University Center for Civic Engagement, which led a campus toy drive to benefit Windsor families.
The drive raised about $1,300 in donations, which will be divided between Bell, Palmer, and Weeks Elementary schools.
“I will try my best to split them up between the schools evenly. I have also split them up based on specific requests from the elementary counselors,” said Mike Prior, Youth Initiative Coordinator for Windsor and a graduate assistant through the Center for Civic Engagement.
Prior created the drive after being inspired by other Windsor initiatives, such as the Fill the Bus food drive.
“I know the gifts will bring many big, bright smiles and fun surprises to our Windsor students. We are so thankful for Binghamton University’s support in fundraising and shopping, which reduces both the financial and logistical stress of our Windsor families needing to shop for gifts during this pandemic,” said Bell Elementary school counselor Lori Fisher.
“This year with the pandemic, more of our local families could use a little boost. It was fantastic to have this toy drive to fall back upon when supporting our families through this unexpected and already hectic time of year. There's already enough to worry about daily. It's nice to be able to provide support and take something off of families’ plates,” said Weeks Elementary school counselor Liz Sharkan.
Palmer Elementary school counselor Sandra Tredo is adding what the school received from this drive to contributions from staff to ensure all Palmer students who need a gift will get one.
“If we had requests from students for gifts that we couldn’t fulfill, this was a great way to supplement,” said Tredo. “We got three large boxes of gifts.”
Some families are picking up gifts at each elementary building. Elementary counselors also plan to deliver gifts to homes during the remote day of instruction on December 23rd.
“Delivery will be a nice opportunity for us to wave hello, give ‘air hugs,’ and reconnect with parents and caregivers who we aren’t seeing in our school buildings during this time,” said Fisher.