On Wednesday, December 9th, Delbarton conducted its annual Christmas Toy Drive. Working with the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Patterson, students each donated gifts to bring some joy to children and families in New Jersey.
The drive was run through deaneries, and every deanery was assigned a specific gender and age range for purchasing gifts. For example, one deanery was told “sixteen gifts for Boys ages 5-7” and “sixteen gifts for Girls 8-13,” for a total of thirty-two gifts for the Deanery, roughly two per student. After these gifts were purchased, students brought them to their deanery rooms on the morning of December 9th to package their gifts for delivery to Patterson.
Although Toy Drive has been conducted for over 30 years at Delbarton, this year will be a little more special. COVID-19 has challenged everyone this year in unexpected and unpredictable ways, and the families and children receiving these gifts are no different. Therefore, the compassionate efforts and generosity of the Delbarton community play even a bigger role in bringing joy and brightening the holidays for these families.
Furthermore, another amazing part of the Toy Drive is the incredible feeling that comes from giving. Knowing that our actions may make someone’s entire Christmas special, places a new level of responsibility on the Delbarton student body. Our ability to fulfill this important tradition, even in the face of this year’s challenges, becomes a testament to our strength as a community and our brotherhood.
In addition to the Toy Drive, Delbarton will also be participating in its annual Thanksgiving Food Drive on Thursday, December 17. Although Thanksgiving has already passed, Delbarton will still donate to those families in need in nearby Essex County. Due to our temporary “remote learning” following the Thanksgiving Break, the food drive was delayed. This year Delbarton has partnered with Mend NJ, who help to feed many NJ families who are suffering due to the pandemic and are in need of food on a daily basis. Thus, our efforts are still incredibly necessary as these families still need our help, even if Thanksgiving has already passed.
However, like the Toy Drive, the food donation itself will look different this year. This year, students have been asked to bring in specific items only. This will assure that all the food collected is distributed most effectively.
Every year, the Christmas Toy Drive and the Thanksgiving Food Drive provide a unique opportunity for Delbarton students to universally participate in the helping of others. This willing generosity has become a hallmark of the Delbarton student body, and this year, this spirit of giving has been bolstered by a commitment to overcome challenges. Therefore, I can confidently say that with the resilience shown this year, there is no doubt the Delbarton community can look forward to another 30 years of giving, no matter what challenges we might face.