Each year, guided by the examples set by our founders, Nardin faculty, students and families continue to live out our mission with a commitment to serving the local community. With the holidays quickly approaching, we are overwhelmed by the generosity of our students and families as they share holiday cheer with Western New York.
Continuing a 10+ year partnership with Lafayette High School, Nardin Elementary and Montessori launched their annual outerwear drive this November. This partnership helps prepare families for our harsh winters, assisting students who are refugees from countries such as Somalia, Burma and Burundi.
Middle School teacher Jaclyn Twitchell said, "this is a small gesture that our families can do in order to help others in a big way. Student Council has always led this project, but the workload fell mostly on the teacher moderators in the past. This year, we wanted to include the students more - both the Student Council and the student body."
Students set up a collection center in front of the main office to showcase how much was donated with a school-wide goal of 1,000 winter wear items. Twitchell continued, "There were mixed reviews about picking such a high number, but we went with it as a seemingly attainable goal. Over the course of collecting, Student Council members worked daily to organize, count and bag the donations. After three weeks of collecting, the grand total skyrocketed to 1,355 items!"
Middle School Principal Chris Pitek added, "I am beyond proud. The line "to give and not to count the cost" from the Prayer of Generosity by St. Ignatius Loyola sums up how our students responded to the call. We are thankful for everyone's support!"
In addition to donating as part of Coat Drive, Nardin Montessori continued the tradition of participating in Gateway-Longview's Adopt An Angel campaign. This campaign cares for over 900 children (or "angels") each holiday season and includes those enrolled in 16 separate support programs, including foster care, day school and residential programs.
In recent years, Nardin Montessori families have 'adopted' 80+ families, almost 9% of the total children served. This year, Montessori had more families wishing to 'adopt' than angels to give. In addition to the 80+ angel gifts, families also donated 20+ pieces of new, unused outerwear for all ages to meet another need of the Gateway-Longview community.
Nardin High School has also embraced the spirit of giving, setting up an Angel Tree in the courtyard entrance. All items donated will be collected by the St. Vincent de Paul Society on the last day of school before Christmas Break and distributed to inner city churches and community centers.
Thank you to our faculty and staff for teaching our students to serve with humility and compassion this holiday season and throughout the year!