NORWICH — The SUNY Morrisville Liberty Partnerships Program (LPP) and the Norwich City School District have teamed up to put on their Holiday Clothing Drive for another year.
LPP is a grant through the New York State Education Department, and is geared toward supporting students academically, according to LPP Project Director Kisten Giglio.
"We work to support kids. The main goal is academic support and stay in school. Come to school, stay in school, graduate," said Giglio. "We support all the kids in Norwich City School District, and then any LPP kids that are in need for the holidays."
The clothing drive is a way for LPP to help children in the community by providing needed clothing items. Several area businesses will be setting up Angel Trees this week, which have snowflake shaped tags on them, each listing a needed item.
"The Angel Trees have snowflakes on them," said Giglio. "You take the tag, you purchase the stuff, you return it to one of those locations. We have gathered information from families, the families come and get the stuff."
Trees will be set up in the Garden Center at the Norwich Walmart, Tractor Supply, NBT Bank, Nazzitto's Wine and Liquor, M&T Bank, McNeil Jewelers, Norwich Copies Plus, Serenity Hobbies, Minty's Candies and Treats, the SUNY Morrisville Norwich Campus, Nina's Pizzeria, Pires Flower Basket, The Wild Owl, Teasers Hair and Nail Studio, Deja Brew, the Norwich Family YMCA, and Creative Works.
Purchased items can be turned in at the Walmart Customer Service Desk, the box at Tractor Supply, the SUNY Morrisville Norwich Campus, or any Norwich City School District schools. LPP officials ask that all items are turned in to the clothing drive no later than Monday, December 6.
Giglio explained that while the LPP program focuses on Norwich City School District students, the clothing drive is for all children in their family, even if they aren't school age.
"We're providing clothing for children in the family in need," she said. "Let's say I'm a kindergartener, but I have two Pre-K siblings. We'll provide for the Pre-Kers. You know, so, it's children of families."
The Holiday Clothing Drive has been very successful in previous years, and Giglio said they are on course to keep the success going.
"On average, they do about 250 families and about 500 kids every year," she said. "We're on track for that again this year."
The clothing drive has also garnered support from several local organizations and foundations in the form of monetary donations. These donations were provided by the R.C. Smith Foundation, Walmart, Emmanuel Episcopal Church, NBT Bank, Norwich Rotary, Root's Flooring and Paint, and Sidney Federal Credit Union.
Support in the form of item purchases has come from the faculty and staff of the Norwich City School District and SUNY Morrisville, as well as members of the community.
"It would not happen without all the support that we get from people. It's a well supported program," said Giglio. "We are beyond grateful for the community support this initiative receives each year. We couldn't do it without you."
Additionally, two Norwich restaurants will be hosting Give Back Nights, where a portion of all sales made in a specific time frame are donated to the Holiday Clothing Drive.
From 4 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, November 23, Nina's Pizzeria will hold their Give Back Night. The Wild Owl will also participate, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, December 8.
For more information, or for those wishing to put up an Angel Tree at their business, contact Kisten Giglio by phone at 607-334-5144, ext. 5036 or 5035, or 607-316-0999, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.