Dec. 20, 2022
Boyce students deliver hope and kindness
Fifth and sixth graders at Boyce Middle School recently delivered two busloads of gift bags for children in foster care as well as those who receive services from Washington County Children & Youth Services.
The annual Friendship Gift Bag project has been providing Boyce students with a lesson in hope and kindness for more than 20 years. Students are asked to fill a gift bag with small gifts to brighten the holidays for another child. Suggested items include personal care items; a small clothing item such as fun socks or gloves; something fun such as a craft, book, cards or small game; as well as a treat that may include gum, lollipops or other candy.
The holiday service project is organized by the Boyce Middle School counselors, Amy Antonio and Tonia Autieri. Previously, students filled and wrapped shoeboxes; however, modifications have been made over the last few years.
“Last year's gift bag project, which was modified due to COVID-19 protocols, was such a success, we decided to keep it going,” Mrs. Autieri said. “Students purchased small gifts to place in a gift bag and added their own colorful artwork and cards to the bags.”
The gift bags were delivered to children in Washington County through MERAKEY, a nonprofit organization that serves children and families in need, on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022.
“We donated a total of 875 bags this year to MERAKEY, which surpassed our total last year, which was 850,” Mrs. Autieri said. “The generosity of our students and families has been remarkable – 875 children will now have gifts to open this holiday season.”
Community service projects, an important component of the culture at Boyce Middle School, provide important learning opportunities.
“This project helps foster an awareness of others in need and provides the opportunity for our students to brighten the holidays for another child,” she said. “It helps teach kids that giving to others can be just as rewarding as receiving gifts. We are so proud of our Boyce students, who proved once again this year, we can make a difference if we work together!”
Mrs. Autieri applauds the Boyce Middle School community, including students, families and staff, for their willingness to make a difference in the lives of others. In doing so, students and adults demonstrate kindness and compassion.
“This annual project is a great reminder for students, families and staff that giving is such an important part of the holiday season,” she said. “As students prepare bags and families encourage them to do so, it reiterates how wonderful it feels to help others in need this time of year.”