Number of Participants: 25
Hours Donated: 4
Value of Time Served: $845
Event Type: Children & Youth
Date: May 17, 2016
70 South Woods Road Syosset
New York 11791, United States
The Syosset High School community recently wrapped up a monthlong drive to collect much-needed items for the homeless through the We CARE (Compassionate, Altruistic, Responsive and Effective) Backpack fundraiser. Representatives from a cross-section of Syosset High School clubs and community-based organizations were on hand for a culminating reception in which high school representatives and other contributors presented 150 stuffed backpacks and an additional 20 crates to Nassau Haven, an emergency shelter for runaway and homeless teens.
Items in the backpacks and crates included warm socks, gloves, scarves, rain ponchos, various hygiene products, first aid kits, bottled water, juice boxes, granola bars and other healthy nonperishable snacks, among others. Syosset High School counselor Deborah Contino served as the key adviser for the We CARE drive, overseeing the lead student group, the school’s Awareness Club, as well as garnering help from other counseling department members and several other members of the high school faculty and administration.
Word of the We Cares drive spread, with some even outside of the high school making contributions. The U.S. Army donated 16 backpacks filled with a ready pack meal, T-shirt and a hat. During the ceremony, Army representatives joined student ambassadors in presenting Nassau Haven officials with backpacks on behalf of their respective clubs. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Thomas Rogers also presented a backpack on behalf of central administration. Leslie Epps, one of the school’s executive We CARE student ambassadors, consulted with Nassau Haven to develop a list of needed survival items, which was distributed to teachers, club advisers, coaches and departments – essentially recruiting every facet of the school to sponsor a backpack.
“When this was initially conceived, our desire was to alleviate some of the suffering of those assisted by Nassau Haven” said Leslie. “We began to spread the word about the fundraiser, just to gain input, and before it even began, anticipation and excitement grew to the point where classes, clubs, teams and departments began to reserve backpacks. From that point on, we knew that the fundraiser would be successful, but we never dreamed that it would grow to such a grandiose scale.”
Photo Caption: Syosset HS students, faculty, district administrators, Nassau Haven officials and other contributors to the We CARE drive, which provided 150 backpacks filled with items for the homeless.
Photo courtesy of the Syosset CSD.