As a district, we want to recognize the various ways our students and staff have chosen to give back this holiday season. We believe philanthropy and service projects are an important part of our instruction. We want to highlight some of these amazing efforts so you can see how much work has gone into improving the holiday season for the less fortunate.
- Candy Can Food Drive – The BWE Student Council has put on the Candy Can Food Drive for a number of years now. The food drive benefits the Hancock County Food Pantry with the goal of collecting the most needed items for their shelves. This year, the Candy Can Food Drive focused on collecting jars of peanut butter, which is an item the food pantry needs large quantities of but is rarely donated due to price. During this year’s This is a very needed item for the food pantry and often not donated because it is a “pricey” item. This year, the food drive collected 315 jars of peanut butter and 936 other cans of food.
New Palestine Elementary
- NPE is a Toys for Tots school.
- Drew’s Toy Drive – Over the past few years, the family of former NPE student Drew Lapenta has organized a toy drive for the children at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital during the holidays. This, each NPE student was encouraged to bring $1 to school to contribute to the drive so toys could be bought for children at Peyton Manning.
- Stacy’s Closet – NPE teacher Mrs. Bancroft has started a clothing closet for NPE families in need. First-grade students were encouraged to bring pajamas, socks, and underwear to help families in need. Stacy’s Closet is launching this holiday season but will be a permanent fixture at NPE going forward.
- Mrs. Floyd and Mrs. Whitaker’s second-grade classes collected non-perishable items for the St. Vincent dePaul food pantry.
- Third-grade students provided roughly 100 boxes of cereal for Westminster Neighborhood Services, which is a non-profit after-school program for at-risk youth in Indianapolis.
- NPE 4th-grade created Christmas cards for veterans who will spend the holiday in the Veterans Hospital in downtown Indianapolis.
- Kindergartners made a cocoa mix to fill donated Christmas mugs and made placemats for the Kenneth Butler Soup Kitchen in Greenfield, decorations for Springhurst Nursing Home in Greenfield, fleece scarves for the homeless in the Indianapolis area, and potholders to donate to an assisted living home.
Sugar Creek Elementary
- SCE is a Toys for Tots school. Students are encouraged to bring toys throughout the month of December.
- SCE student Coleton Watkins is in his fifth year of organizing Coleton’s Toy Drive. Each December, Coleton collects new toys to deliver to Riley so kids staying there can have presents for Christmas. Coleton is a former Riley patient and has chosen this project to help give back to those in need.
- This year was the second year for SCE Families in Need, a project where the school staff decided to team together as a school and community and to provide families in need with a Family Help Basket. SCE’s students and staff collected enough items to help 20 families have a brighter holiday this year.
- Each SCE grade also participated in their own service projects, as well. Kindergarten paired with 4th-graders and made cards for the Kenneth Butler Soup Kitchen, Springhurst Health Campus, Hancock Regional Hospital, and the Hope House.
New Palestine Intermediate
- NPI is also a Toys for Tots school, with students encouraged to bring toys throughout December.
Corie McCaw’s class collected toiletries to supplement the backpack program at NPI. They are collecting toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, conditioner, and new socks. Donations are still welcome.
NPI’s Student Council collected canned goods for the NPI Food Pantry.
April Manning’s class collected fleece and created dog blankets for a local animal shelter.
A group of our 6th-grade students were responsible for the creation of a care package for the homeless. A number of toiletries, non-perishable food, and warm clothes were collected to be distributed.
One of the 5th-grade teams created a 12 School Days of Christmas program, where students received a small gift each day while giving a small gift to another student.
New Palestine Junior High
- NPJH is also a Toys for Tots school.
- Throughout the year, NPJH is collecting toiletries, non-perishable food items, and clothes for the Dragon Giving Closet. Please feel free to drop any of these items off at NPJH at any time.
- NPJH students held their annual drive to collect money for the Bebor Primary Schools in Nigeria. In the last 15 years, NPJH/DCMS has donated over $20,000 to this cause.
- NPJH staff have adopted a community family in need this holiday season, helping them with presents, food, and other needs.
New Palestine High School
- Ms. Temple’s classes worked to collect money for Caring Place Reach. Each class participated in a different fundraiser. Students also helped at two Caring Place Reach holiday events where families in need were able to receive a Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas gifts for their families.
- NPHS students adopted seven students from an IPS school and helped make their Christmas wishes come true.
- Through Mr. Large’s Advanced Business Management class at NPHS, students participate in a number of semester-long service projects. You can learn more about all of these wonderful projects and the causes they benefit on the NPHS Service Learning page.