Over the past few weeks at BFUHS, the Student Council hosted a holiday toy drive for Parks Place, the local community building center. Approached by coordinator Christine Bullard, the student council officers (Hannah Harlow – President, Emily Wunderle – Vice President, Sarah Scarlet – Historian, Bradie Harris – Secretary, and Dani Marchica – Treasurer) met with Christine to discuss the holiday toy drive. This year, Park’s Place held their community gift giving event on December 15th. Christine told the officers the upsetting story of the toy drive held last year, hoping to find success this year.
In the holiday season of 2016, Parks Place opened their doors to the families in need of Bellows Falls, Westminster, and other surrounding Vermont towns. Scheduled to open their doors at 10:30 and close at 2:30, they were surprised to see that a line had emerged outside of the door at 8:00 A.M. When families were let in, it only took 22 minutes for the $600 worth of toys, blankets and books to be emptied. By 10:22, many parents were left in tears as they begged to take a second blanket over a toy, but left devastated, and many had to be turned away. The goal for 2017 was to provide enough blankets, toys, and books to ensure no family would be turned away.
To promote the holiday giving spirit, the Student Council officers developed a plan. In past years, the Toy Drive held at BFUHS was rather unsuccessful, and to change that, the officers made posters, flyers, and held a school assembly where they premiered a self-produced PSA. Sparking ideas and hope within the academic community, toys, blankets, books, and a plethora of other items came flooding in from teachers and students alike.
In total, the drive brought in 11 blankets, 32 games/puzzles, 57 books, 65 stuffed animals, 25 sets of pajamas/clothes, 66 arts/crafts presents, and 73 other toys, bringing the total number of items to 334. The goal that the student council had set before the drive was 100 items. Tripling the goal, the officers loaded their cars and arrived at Parks Place on the 14th to help set up for the next day. The 2017 Toy Drive was a complete success for the BFUHS school, student council, and Parks Place.
As Christine Bullard praised, “We couldn’t have done it without you; what you’ve done is amazing and we can’t thank you enough.”
Once again, congratulations to the BFUHS Student Council and academic community, and thank you to all who donated and spread the word. Let’s go BF!