Union Catholic’s annual Christmas Drive called on students, faculty, and staff to join forces to help those who are less fortunate in another great display of Union Catholic’s social justice initiative.
Union Catholic faculty members Ms. Samantha Scutieri, Mrs. Michelle Goworek, and Mrs. Susan McLaughlin are the coordinators of the Christmas Drive, which is divided into two parts.
The first part of the program is faculty based, and it involves donating specific items to a group of approximately thirty senior citizens from St. Joseph’s Social Services in Elizabeth.
Additionally, UC continued the tradition of the Giving Tree, a Christmas tree that holds ornaments with the names of individuals in need, along with their requested items. This part of the Christmas Drive is student driven, which features a mix of students from each grade who are chosen to serve as Christmas elves. The students who served as elves were Addy Chelak, Kiran Swift, Gianna Valdes, Gianna Belmonte, Sabina Colangelo, and Jessica Ojeda.
These students travel from classroom to classroom seeking specific items requested for families serviced by Catholic Charities in Cranford. These families are often in most desperate need of warm clothing, and in addition to items like coats and boots, UC students provide all of the children with at least one toy to unwrap.
Ms. Scutieri said coordinating the Christmas Drive is very rewarding and offers another great example of Union Catholic’s community coming together.
“We are helping our outside community, but we are also working together as a community of students and faculty to accomplish a goal,” said Ms. Scutieri. “We get thank you cards back from families, and it is always nice to see that it really meant something to them and gave them the opportunity to have a happy holiday with their families. It’s a lot of work and it’s also a lot of fun. The students really enjoy themselves.”