by Terry Rogers
On December 15, volunteers delivered items to the four elementary schools in Milford as part of the Empty Stocking Initiative. The program is coordinated by the Milford Church of God who collects donations over several weeks in order to provide some cheer to children who have been identified as needing additional support over the holidays. Hill’s Bus Service owners, Marvin and Tina Hill, helped deliver the stockings to the various schools.
“I can’t tell you what we collected because I can’t give away what is in the stockings,” Bridget Amory, Director of Student Learning, said. “Actually, the Empty Stocking Project works to provide recipients with items that help them fill some needs as we celebrate the holiday season. This year, there were over 3,600 items distributed among 300 plus stockings. This is the third year of the program and it has grown from serving approximately 100 children to over 300 children this year. We are optimistic our community will continue to help support the growth of the project and share in the holiday spirit.”
The average cost of each package delivered to needy students is $15 and more than 40 volunteers worked to pack the “stockings” to get them ready for delivery. Milford Church of God hopes to one day provide a package to every needy child in Milford School District.
“We are thankful for the Empty Stocking Project and the collaborative efforts of the Milford Church of God and the Milford Chronicle to care for our students,” Dr. Kevin Dickerson, Superintendent of Milford School District, said. “The contributions and time of so many outstanding compassionate community members for this project is astounding. We are grateful for all of those involved and the joy provided to our students during this time of year. Milford School District is extremely fortunate and blessed by the continuous support of our students and families by the greater Milford community.”
In addition to the community’s support of students in need in recognition of the holiday season, Milford Central Academy’s National Junior Honor Society travelled to Virginia on Saturday, December 15 to lay wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery as part of the “Wreaths Across America” program. Michelle Hamilton and Jennyfer Cilano, advisers to the National Junior Honor Society at MCA, were proud of how the 14 students who travelled to the cemetery made a personal connection with many individuals buried in Arlington.
“We want to thank Ms. Hamilton and Ms. Cilano for organizing and making this happen,” Gary Zoll, Principal at MCA, said. “As a school, we stress and try daily to show our students how valuable our community is to them. Every chance we have, we want them to choose to make a difference not only here in Milford, but in our country as a whole. Even though the weather was awful, the students had a great time and connected with history in a unique way.
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