By Rick Rouan
The Giving Tree Project is in its seventh year.
POLAND — Some elementary students are getting into the giving spirit for the holiday season.
For the seventh consecutive year, Dobbins Elementary is collecting items to shield less fortunate children from the cold.
The Giving Tree Project, which seeks to gather socks, mittens, gloves, hats and scarves, runs from Dec. 1-18, Principal Cheryl Borovitcky said. At the end, Borovitcky said, the items will go to Mahoning County Children Services.
“They count on us, and I know that,” Borovitcky said.
The project asks that each grade level bring a different item. Kindergarten students bring socks; first-graders, mittens; second-graders, gloves; third-graders, headwear; and fourth-graders, scarves.
“We’re very fortunate to receive this kind of donation. So many kids that we work with don’t have bare necessities,” said Denise Stewart, executive director of Mahoning County Children Services.
Once the children bring in the items, they use them to decorate one of five Christmas trees assigned to each grade level. The school’s parent-teacher organization helped decorate the trees with lights and other ornaments. The trees will form the backdrop for the school’s “Home for the Holidays” Christmas program at 7 p.m. Thursday.
“Our annual Giving Tree project is a nice way for our students to give something small to another child,” Borovitcky said.
The project is in its seventh year, Borovitcky said, but the school has been giving to Children Services for about 25 years.
Promoting community service in her school’s children is important, Borovitcky said, because elementary children are highly impressionable.
Borovitcky said that Children Services uses the items not just for Christmas but throughout the cold winter months.
“At this time of year when all children are making wish lists, it is so important for them to also think of others,” she said.
Stewart said donations to the county department are down in the stressed economy, but potential donors can call (330) 941-8888 and ask for Teresa Pancoe to donate.
“We’re just so appreciative of every donation we receive,” she said.