Generosity Is A Holiday Guarantee At Birch Lane


December is a time of year associated with tradition and at Birch Lane Elementary School in the Massapequa School District, that means it’s time for the annual toy drive.
The long-standing charitable event benefits the John Theissen Children’s Foundation, which provides toys to sick and underprivileged kids during the holiday season. Birch Lane’s student government is doing its part to help out by collecting toys from Dec. 6-20. Just a week into the drive, students and staff had already donated hundreds of toys.
“I’m blown away by the generosity,” said teacher Kelsey Downey, adviser of student government along with Marissa Spalletta. “It’s amazing how this community comes together for those in need.”

Birch Lane Elementary School fifth graders from left: Thomas Ricardo, Madison McPhail and Emma Kok helped collect and sort toys which will be donated to the John Theissen Children’s Foundation.
(Photo courtesy of the Massapequa School District)

Every classroom received a large, reusable bag for students to place their donations. Student government officers take on the role of Santa’s elves for a few minutes each morning, going around the school, collecting the bags and bringing them back to a room where the toys are sorted. Because of the amount of donations, Theissen will make two tips to Birch Lane to pick up the toys.

Student government officers volunteered their time as Santa’s elves to unpack all of the donated toys.(Photo courtesy of the Massapequa School District)

In addition to new toys, students and staff could also donate gift cards from Amazon, Best Buy, Target and Walmart.
“It makes me feel happy because we are giving all these children toys to play with,” Madison McPhail said after picking up several bags of toys one morning. “When children get these toys, then they’re going to feel really happy.”
“I love that I’m able to help, so all kids can have a great holiday,” added fifth grader Mia Victor.

—Submitted by the Massapequa School District

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