The Lancer Community values the importance of serving others. Throughout the holiday season, several organizations and clubs carried out philanthropic drives and activities to benefit those in need within our area. As always, we continue to be proud of the selfless work of our community members! Below are just a few highlights during this season of giving:
Peer Leadership and NHS Transition Students:
Under the guidance of Mr. Ned Yahn (Peer Leadership) and Mrs. Brigette Scala (Transition), NTSD served as a drop-off location for the USMC’s Toys for Tots campaign. Students prepared information flyers for community members and collected all of the toys generously donated for this worthy cause.
NHS Transition Students:
Neshannock Township Education Foundation purchased over 150 poinsettias as tokens of appreciation for each and every NTSD employee this holiday. With employees sprinkled throughout the entire campus and beyond, delivering the poinsettias to each person was no small task; nonetheless, Mrs. Scala’s transition students got the job done! Not only did they deliver the poinsettias, but they did so with a smile spreading holiday cheer to all!
Rotary Interact Club and Transition Students:
During the months of October and November, the Neshannock High School Rotary Interact Club, sponsored by New Castle Rotary Club # 89, and the Neshannock High School Transition Students conducted the annual blanket and sock drives.
Almost 600 pairs of socks for men, women, and children were collected, sorted, counted and distributed to the homeless in Lawrence County through the City Rescue Mission. Nearly 100 blankets were collected, sorted, counted and distributed to the Lawrence County United Way. The United Way then gives the blankets to local families who need extra warmth during the winter months.
Rotary Interact Club Co-Presidents Adrienne Anzalone and Tori Gouza attended the Rotary Club #89 lunch meeting alongside senior members, Bella Burrelli and Bri Dean. The lunch, held at the Confluence in downtown New Castle, took place on December 10th. Our student members introduced themselves and updated the club on the results of their sock and blanket drives, as well as future international project plans. After the lunch, City Rescue Mission Director Kevin Greene took Adrienne, Tori, Bella, and Bri on a tour of the Mission’s Christmas distribution location so they could see, firsthand, the impact of their donations.
Junior High Food Festival:
Under the direction of Mr. Frank Antuono, Junior High students celebrated the holidays with a food festival. All of the food — prepared by the students and their families — was representative of each family’s ethnicity and/or cultural traditions. Students and staff enjoyed sampling the various items, but the very best part of the Food Festival is how it reaches the community. For over two decades, dozens and dozens of trays filled with delicious, homemade food gets donated to the City Rescue Mission. This food goes on to feed numerous community members in need during the holidays.
Mia Greco and National Honor Society:
Mia Greco, daughter of David and Jill Greco, is a Senior National Honor Society member with a heart for serving others. Mia decided she wanted to continue a family tradition of sponsoring children through the Angel Tree Christmas Program on a larger scale. Mia did her due diligence in finding Mrs. Maureen Ciafullo-Haid of Cray Youth and Family Services in Lawrence County and got to work!
Mia enlisted the help of NTSD students, as well as her National Honor Society peers. Through their hard work and collaboration, almost thirty children, ages 3 months to 18 years, will be receiving fulfilled Christmas wish lists. Their lists included everything from clothing and toys to music and personal hygiene supplies.
National Honor Society:
A message from Chloe Cosgrove, National Honor Society Public Relations Officer:
The annual Thanksgiving Food Drive at Neshannock High School is sponsored by the National Honor Society. For those of you who are unaware, the food drive is dedicated to feeding families in need, and assuring that they are provided with a delicious home cooked meal on Thanksgiving Day. Each classroom in Neshannock high school is assigned a family, which is represented by a specific country. Colorful boxes and posters are created by National Honor Society members to list and hold a full complement of non perishable Thanksgiving foods. In addition, each classroom is encouraged to reach the monetary goal of $40. The money goes towards buying perishable items for each family, including turkey, bread, butter, milk, pie, and whipped cream. This year, the school collectively raised $1700 for the families in need, which surpassed the goal by $500. Thirty families were provided with full Thanksgiving dinners. The remaining money was used to purchase Save-A-Lot gift cards; these will be given to each family to provide Christmas dinners as well.
Every year, students enjoy participating in the food drive; the school creates a fun and friendly contest between the classrooms. Whichever room brings in the most money, will be rewarded with a treat. This year, Miss Slater’s homeroom brought in all of the nonperishable items, as well as the most money overall. On December 20th, the students in her homeroom will receive a treat for surpassing the goal. Overall, the Neshannock High School Food Drive is a kind charity that brings happiness to many for the holidays.
Neshannock Memorial Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO):
A message from Neshannock Memorial PTO:
Each November our PTO presents an opportunity for our Neshannock Elementary School students to participate in a school-wide service project. This year our PTO was pleased to partner with the New Castle branch of the Salvation Army, to offer two ways our Lancer families could be involved in our school’s 2018 community service project.
The holidays can be a difficult time for many, including nursing homes residents, who may feel overlooked or forgotten at what should be a joyous and fun time of the year. The Salvation Army offers year-round encouragement visits to those in nursing homes under their League of Mercy program. When Salvation Army volunteers visit nursing home residents, they bring a small gift basket, a warm smile, and a renewed sense of comfort — things which are never needed more than during the holiday season.
As the first opportunity to help the Salvation Army in their mission to extend comfort and joy to local nursing home residents, the Neshannock PTO collected a variety of items such as blankets, puzzles, stuffed animals, and personal care items. The response was wonderful and many donations were brought in!
While our PTO has orchestrated many drives of goods in the past, the most exciting aspect of our service project this year was that interested families joined the one-day-only “League of Lancers,” which on the afternoon of Sunday, December 2, worked along side the League of Mercy by visiting two local nursing homes. The children and their families greeted residents, sang Christmas carols, and handed out the donated Christmas gifts. Watching the residents’ faces as the kids interacted with them and handed them gifts was a beautiful display of Christmas giving. The students that attended made us all proud.
At Rhodes Estates, 16 men received a card, a blanket, a bear, and a snack; 53 women received a card, a bear, a calendar, a puzzle, and a snack; and 14 people in memory care received a card, a bear, a blanket, and a snack. At Avalon Place, 8 men received a card, a bear, a chapstick, a blanket, a snack, and either a lotion or a body wash; and 41 women received a card, a bear, a pair of fuzzy socks, a puzzle book, a chapstick, a snack, and either a lotion or a body wash. Both nursing homes received a gift bag of hard candies, flavored teas, pens and pencils, and other goods that they can put out through the month to enrich the holiday season for the residents. And if that wasn’t enough, we were able to give to the Salvation Army’s League of Mercy 3 boxes and 2 bags of other donations for them to use when they visit the more than dozen nursing facilities they plan to spread holiday cheer at this month!