The voice of the student body

The Dial

The voice of the student body

The Dial

The voice of the student body

The Dial

A Tremendous Improvement: The 2024 Toy and Coat Drive

Every year the Service Leadership team looks to run a Toy and Coat drive during the holiday season to support both the 914 Cares and Neighbors Link organizations. In past years, the team has been disappointed in the amount of engagement from the Hackley community, specifically the Upper School. However, this year marks one of the most successful drives the community has ever seen.

Credit: Sejal Virk
This chart and information perfectly represents the enormous amount of engagement from the Upper school during the Toy and Coat drives. These numbers significantly grew as compared to last year.

Firstly, with the help and leadership of the Upper School deans, the Service team designed a competition to help encourage engagement in the Toy Drive. The competition featured each grade level competing to get to 60 toys and 60 coats first. The prizes, which ranged from dress-down days to early access to the lunchroom, created a competitive spirit within the hallways.

By the end of the drive, the seniors came in last place with 26 coats, six toys, and five gift cards. The juniors came in third donating 38 coats, 76 toys, and seven gift cards. “It was great to see a good amount of participation from our grade this year and hopefully next year we can do even better.” said Junior Bella Barriera.

The sophomores came in second with 62 coats, 55 toys, and 11 gift cards. And the freshmen reigned supreme with a first-place finish donating 76 coats, 75 toys and 11 gift cards.

Altogether this totaled 202 coats, 212 toys, and 38 gift cards from the Upper School which was a monumental improvement from previous years. “Compared to last year it was a lot better and great to see the motivation brought by the competition that we implemented,” said Julia Feehan, a student in the Service Leadership for Social Impact class.

In addition to implementing a grade-wide competition, Ms. DeMarchena elected the best homeroom captain who showed the qualities of an organized, enthusiastic, and timely leader. Some homeroom captains wrote poems to their classmates, some sent daily reminder emails, and some even incentivized classmates with sugar all to encourage participation in the drive. In the end, Sofia Mazzella, a freshman homeroom captain, was chosen as the best homeroom captain. Many captains also earned honorable mentions including Freshman Ace Perez, Gemma Lasky, and Tyler Stern, Sophomores Annika Duggan, and Calliope Yanuzzi, Juniors Meredith Lee, and Jimmy Mulosmani and Senior Cassandra Stand.

Along with these competitions, to promote the coat drive, the Service team partnered with Ms. Kanter’s 4th-grade class and created a video for the Upper School to watch. The video showed a fashion show with 4th grade judges giving full marks to the coats in good condition but sad and angry reactions to coats with stains and rips. Although this video attracted many due to the cuteness of the 4th graders, its real aim was to inform everyone on what coats can be donated.

“It was really fun to work with the younger kids and gain that connection with all divisions to make this drive more of a success,” said Julia.

Altogether, this year’s toy and coat drive was a huge success thanks to the extra planning and organization to help promote participation. This year’s engagement truly represented the motto our community holds high, “United We Help One Another”.

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