We keep saying it because it’s true—this community is really incredible.
In the aftermath of Irene’s devastation across our state, the show of support from our friends and neighbors in and around Colchester has been nothing short of astounding. What an amazing place to live, work, and learn!
Students at Malletts Bay School organized a coin drive they called “Change for Help” to support victims of the storm, with the three houses competing to raise the most money. Their efforts, tallied by Vermont Federal Credit Union and Assistant Principal Carolyn Millham, raised a total of $2,338.91—the largest percentage of which was raised by the Harmony House, earning its members a celebratory ice cream social as a result. The Malletts Bay Ospreys voted to allocate equal amounts of the funds they collectively raised to the Vermont Irene Flood Relief Fund, the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund, and to a family located through the Vermont Principals’ Association.
Porters Point School also organized a coin drive, raising a total of $568.70 through their Four Days to Bring Change! campaign. PPS raised the funds, which were sent to the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund (care of the United Way of Chittenden County), by designating a coin for each day of the week; Monday was Penny Day, Tuesday was Nickel Day, Wednesday was Dime Day, and Thursday was Quarter Day, and the students collected and donated loose change for the cause.
At Colchester Middle School, Assistant Principal Peg Gillard challenged the students to fill a truck full of supplies to help students in areas around our state devastated by the flooding. She provided additional incentive to the students by offering to raffle off chances at shaving her head—and several student groups helped with selling the raffle tickets as well as collecting, organizing, and packing the donated items. Many teachers also bought raffle tickets to distribute to students they observed behaving in a positive manner. CMS students and staff, as well as countless CSD employees and community members, collected enough food, household goods, toys, school supplies, school furniture, books, bedding, clothing, and sports equipment to fill a truck. In addition to the collection efforts, Hurricane Relief bracelets funding food banks in hard-hit areas were also sold. The delivery of those supplies to communities in need is now being coordinated.
As a culminating event for this effort and in celebration of the end of the NECAP assessments, raffle-winning students got to take a swipe at Ms. Gillard’s hair with the clippers.
At Colchester High School, juniors under Ms. Sharkey’s guidance contributed school supplies and clean-up supplies to the donation drives in the district.
And a team of educators from Colchester Middle School also rolled up their sleeves, collecting a carload of gently used clothes, towels, sheets, fans, dehumidifiers, and food donations from CSD employees and then spending September 10 in Stockbridge, Vermont—one of thirteen towns that was isolated as the result of the storm’s flooding. The Stockbridge crew, comprised of Connie Gavin, Emily Brennan, Ashleigh Moss and her husband Jeyko Moss, spent the day with masks, shovels, pails, and tarps helping a man repair his home that had been heavily damaged, scraping mud, sweeping dirt, and pulling insulation and nails.
From raising money for tsunami victims to raising money for juvenile diabetes and from participating in the Special Olympics torch run to helping Lake Champlain flooding victims, the young people here and the greater community at large really are astounding. These are precisely the warm and compassionate stories that let us know that we really have an incredible group of people here in this community.
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