Liberty Partnerships Program Brings Back Annual Holiday Clothing Drive
Published: November 21st, 2022
By: Sarah Genter

Liberty Partnerships Program brings back annual holiday clothing drive LPP members with a few "Angel Trees" which will be set up in several area businesses this holiday season for the annual holiday clothing drive. The trees contain tags listing needed clothing items by area families, and community members can give back by taking a tag, purchasing the listed item, and returning it to one of the many drop off locations in the area. (Submitted photo)

NORWICH — The SUNY Morrisville Liberty Partnerships Program (LPP) has collaborated with the Norwich City School District once again to bring back their annual holiday clothing drive.

The Liberty Partnerships Program is a grant through the New York State Education Department, that works with four area schools: Norwich, Bainbridge, Otselic Valley, and Unadilla Valley. The program aims to academically support students, and provides mentoring and advisement.

"We work to support kids. The main goal is academic support and stay in school. Come to school, stay in school, graduate," said LPP Project Director Kisten Giglio.

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For several years, the group has held their holiday clothing drive that gathers needed clothing items for local families in need. LPP members gather lists of clothing sizes and specific items needed by individuals, and then local businesses set up "Angel Trees" that have tags listing the clothing items needed.

Community members can take a tag, purchase the item listed, and donate them at one of the many drop off locations around the area, including Walmart, Tractor Supply, the SUNY Morrisville Norwich Campus, or any Norwich City School: Stanford Gibson, Perry Browne, the Norwich Middle School, and the Norwich High School.

This year Angel Trees will be set up at the following businesses: Walmart, Tractor Supply, Minty's Candies and Treats, Dr. Lindner's Office, Cottage Bakery, Tabryn’s Marketplace, JAM, Service Pharmacy, The Wild Owl, Serenity Hobbies, M&T Bank, Teasers, Deja Brew, McNeil Jewelers, Ashby Ann, Norwich Copies Plus, The Norwich Family YMCA, Pires Flower Basket, Nazzitto’s Wine and Liquor, The Little Herbal Shoppe, Angela’s Pizzeria, The South End Liquor Store, Bella Bella Salon and Suites, Simply Primitive 2, Seasons General Store, and Tips and Toes Creative Hair and Nail Design.

All donations should be turned in by Friday, December 16, to allow time for packaging. Items will be distributed to their respective families the following week.

"The hallmark of community support – this is another amazing example of the tradition of support and generosity that makes Norwich such an incredible place to live," said Giglio.

According to Giglio, the clothing drive is funded entirely by the generous donations of local agencies, nonprofits, businesses, foundations, and individuals.

Annually, LPP and the Norwich City School District serve about 150 to 200 families, or 400 to 500 people. In addition to the clothing items gathered and donated, the holiday clothing drive also raises around $10,000 each year to support the effort.

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So far, several area organizations have made financial contributions to the efforts of the LPP, including the RC Smith Foundation, The Norwich Rotary Club, Emmanuel Episcopal Church, NBT Bank, The Raymond Corporation, and Walmart.

Additionally, several local businesses are doing a donation campaign with their employees, including the Norwich Police Department, Meeting Management Associates, the SUNY Morrisville Norwich Campus, and the entire faculty, staff, and administration of the Norwich City School District.

Those who would like to support the annual holiday clothing drive can also do so at multiple "Give Back Nights" over the coming weeks. The first will be held on Tuesday, November 22 at Nina's Pizzeria from 4 p.m. until closing, followed by a Give Back Day at Dickey's BBQ on Tuesday, November 13, and the Wild Owl on Tuesday, December 20.

Those who would like to sponsor a tree, host a campaign drive at their place of employment, or make a financial contribution can do so by contacting Kisten or Stacey at the SUNY Morrisville Liberty Partnerships Program at 607-334-5144 ext. 5035 or 5036, or Kisten at 607-316-0999.

Financial contributions can also be made by check and mailed directly to Kelly Collins-Colosi, Norwich High School, 89 Midland Drive, Norwich, NY, 13815, with "Holiday Clothing Drive" written in the memo line.

"We truly cannot thank the community enough. There is an ever-growing need to support each other in our community, and Norwich always rises to the occasion and lends a hand to others," said Giglio. "It is an honor to collaborate with so many beautiful people to make this clothing drive a reality!"