SJC Brooklyn embraced the Christmas season this week, donating nearly 100 gifts to Public School 65 Mother Hale Academy in the Bronx.
On Monday, Tajuana Rivera, the people accounting secretary at P.S. 65, came to the College to pick up boxes of wrapped presents, donated by our students, staff and faculty. Michelle Corsetti, SJC Brooklyn’s coordinator of off-campus housing and community service, said St. Joseph’s collected enough gifts under the College’s Giving Tree to give one present to every student in at least three 3rd grade classes.
“Just walking in and seeing the presents packed up and ready to go — it’s overwhelming,” Rivera said. “I know when the kids actually receive the gifts it will be total pandemonium. It’s crazy.
“Sometimes, you never know, the gift that they get can be the only gift that they get … It’s really overwhelming and it’s really exciting for them,” she added.
The SJC Brooklyn Giving Tree has been a holiday tradition for years; it was originally run by the Campus of Ministry, but was recently taken over by the Office of Student Life. The partnership with P.S. 65 began about six years ago.
The College collected toys in all different shapes and sizes, according to Executive Director of Student Life Jaime Vacca and Corsetti. But they said most popular gift was abundantly clear: nerf guns.
The Bronx students will receive the gifts on Friday about 1:30 p.m. — just before school lets out for winter recess.
Watching the student’s reactions when they receive the gifts is Rivera’s favorite part: “Just to see them screaming and yelling — that’s what they do. They are so excited.”