Mrs. Boyle-Lopez, instructional aide, suggested that the Valerie Center at Goryeb Children's Hospital in Morristown would be both an appropriate and beautiful place to donate to. The Valerie Center treats children with cancer and blood disorders and holds a personal significance to Mrs. Boyle-Lopez because her daughter was treated there for Lymphoma.
The National English Honor Society students recently partnered with Mrs. Brown and the Mount Olive High School Library Media Center to take in donations for homeless women for the Helping Hearts and Handbags charity. Founded by Lisa Smith Wagner, Helping Hearts and Handbags collects gently used medium and large purses, toiletries, and non-perishable food donations, stuffing the purses with these items and donating them to women in need.
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Mr. Eilbacher echoed similar sentiments and said, "I am extraordinarily proud of my students and their decision to contribute to this charitable endeavor! Not only were their efforts for a good cause, but it taught them diligence and how to persevere through a difficult task."
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She informed the students about the care center's services, where there is a "hat box" in the office for the patients to take as needed. With the knowledge that there have been several MOHS students treated there, the donation project began in earnest, and the students enthusiastically began churning out hat after hat. As the project gained momentum, the students suggested that the class donate to the NICU at Morristown Hospital as well. They sought additional support from MOHS staff in the form of yarn donations. MOHS staff happily obliged and the class found themselves with an abundance of yarn.
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"I was overwhelmed with the number of donations we received," said Mrs. Kristen Luettchau, NEHS Adviser. "The Mount Olive community has been so supportive in our charity drive efforts, which will make a huge difference in so many women's lives."
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The National English Honor Society set up donation stations around the school and was able to collect over a dozen boxes brimming with handbags, toiletries, and food items for the women.
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Mrs. Brown went on to say, "I love the idea of giving the homeless women some dignity and much needed personal care items at the same time. I thought, what better place than MOHS to have a collection station? There must be so many of us who have gently used handbags and would be willing to help. I know MOHS is a community of such generous, caring people."
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Students involved in the project were Joseph Carfi, Alexa Hyde, Jade Ball, Brian Lible, Sarah DeSalvio, Julia Frace, Emily Funk, and two Tinc Road students, Alyssa and Alexa Hahn. During non-academic time and over the course of a few months, the students worked diligently on the hats. Some students even took the hats home to work on and refine. Excited and proud of their efforts, the students were able to complete over a dozen hats. With the help of the two fifth grade students from Tinc Road School, the hats, along with seven bags of toys were delivered to the Valerie Center and gratefully received.