Thornton Academy recently hosted its annual Salvation Army Christmas Family gift drive to benefit local families. The entire TA community comes together to support 10-12 families from the community each year. Students are given the opportunity to select a gift tag to shop for through their class advisors and Student Council co-advisors, Mary Ann Martin and Caryn Lasante Ford in early December. Unwrapped gifts are returned to school for TA's annual gift wrapping party.
"The community comes together to help these families in need. We have had a lot of support from the TA/Saco Community to purchase gifts for these families in need,” Student Council co-advisor Mary Ann Martin said.
After the gifts were purchased and brought to campus, TA hosted its annual gift wrapping party on Wednesday, December 19 where students, faculty, and staff gathered together to assist in spreading holiday cheer. Hundreds of gifts were collected ranging from children's toys like dolls and Legos to essential items including socks, bedding, and cookware.
"Most families ask for essential winter items - coats, hats, mittens, boots and then share some items their children are interested in and we love to throw in toys to make it a more enjoyable and "typical" Christmas for them,” Student Council co-advisor Caryn Lasante Ford said. “This year a family asked for paper towels and toilet paper and that was a first for us. It really puts everything into perspective when the true basic grocery items are asked for. We made sure to include extra Walmart cards for them and extra goodies for the children.”
Junior Corinne Riddle-Pinkham has been involved with the Salvation Army Christmas Family gift drive all three years of her time at TA. Each year, she selects a tag and, with some financial assistance from her family, purchases gifts.
"Last year, I picked a tag for a person who was in the hospital. They wanted a DVD player. My grandmother helped me to pay for it. I also like to purchase clothes because they are important essentials," Riddle-Pinkham said.
Following the wrapping party, Thornton Academy buses were filled to the brim and the gifts were delivered to the Salvation Army for distribution.
"This year, I got to help bring gifts to the Salvation Army. We filled two buses up - there was almost not place to sit!” Riddle-Pinkham said. “When we arrived to the Salvation Army, we unloaded the buses and separated the gifts by family. I think it is impressive that TA helps those having a tough time.”
Thornton Academy recently hosted its annual Salvation Army Christmas Family gift drive to benefit local families. The entire TA community comes together to support 10-12 families from the community each year.