Dr. Heidi T. Riccio, Superintendent
565 Maple Street
Hathorne, MA 01937
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019
Contact: Kelsey Bode
Email: [email protected]
Essex Tech Donates 1,500 Gifts to Local Children in Need through Hawk Holiday Hope
DANVERS — Students, faculty and staff celebrated the holidays in high spirits Friday, wrapping up the school’s fifth Annual Hawk Holiday Hope gift drive.
Each year, classes at Essex Tech are given the name and interests of a child either in the custody of the Department of Children and Families (DCF) or whose families are being serviced by DCF. For several weeks, students, faculty and staff brainstorm, donate and gift wrap gifts for those children, culminating in a day of final gift wrapping and donation, assemblies, music and festivities. This year, the Essex Tech community purchased and wrapped more than 1,500 gifts for 175 children.
The annual toy drive is held both to give back to local children in need and to teach students the value of helping others in their community.
“As an annual community-service learning event, this is one of the other ways in which we shape students into responsible citizens who take action to help others in need,” said Assistant Superintendent Thomas O’Toole. “And although it is not the only event that we do during the year, it is the biggest.”
Students gathered in the school’s gymnasium Friday to finish wrapping gifts. During the event, the faculty band gave a performance, an ugly sweater contest was held and students sang songs including “The 12 Days of Essex Tech.”
“Hawk Holiday Hope is a special event that we all look forward to every year,” Superintendent Heidi Riccio said. “It’s wonderful to see students get so excited about donating and giving to local children, and for the whole school to come together to celebrate that effort.”
“I think Hawk Holiday Hope brings a lot of joy into our students’ lives. It really excites them for Christmas and it brings back what Christmas really means to everyone,” said Devin Kim, a senior in Essex Tech’s Cosmetology program.
Parent volunteers decorated the school’s entryway all the way down to the school’s gymnasium on Thursday afternoon to reflect the holiday festivities.
After the main assemblies on Friday, students also participated in a door-decorating contest. Students additionally had the choice to either attend a student versus staff hockey game, student versus staff basketball game or a performance of the drama club’s rendition of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
T.E. Andresen Moving and Storage also donated a truck and a crew to help transport the gifts to the Department of Children and Family Services in Salem, Massachusetts.