Diaspora

Greenwich's Riverside School holds 'Holidays for Haiti' event as part of 'valuable lesson' in community service – Torrington Register Citizen

Students at Danita’s Children, a local school in Haiti that educates children in grades K-13, enjoy gifts sent to them from Riverside School in Greenwich.
Students at Danita’s Children, a local school in Haiti that educates children in grades K-13, enjoy gifts sent to them from Riverside School in Greenwich.
Students at Danita’s Children, a local school in Haiti that educates children in grades K-13, enjoy gifts sent to them from Riverside School in Greenwich.
GREENWICH — Riverside School held its fourth annual community service event “Holidays for Haiti” to connect with and assist students at Danita’s Children, a school in an impoverished part of Haiti.
“Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and has been overwhelmed by hardship, natural disasters and COVID-19,” Christopher Weiss, principal at Riverside School, said in a statement. “Having our students help people who are significantly more challenged in their daily lives is a meaningful, valuable lesson that will resonate with them for years to come.”
In the program last month, local students were virtually matched with over 350 children in need at the Haitian school, which educates students in grades K to 12 and in college.
According to its website, Danita’s Children rescues, loves and cares for orphans and impoverished children in Haiti, meeting their physical, emotional, educational and spiritual needs so that they are empowered to become leaders in their communities and nation.
Each Greenwich student had the opportunity to connect with a Haitian child in need by selecting their photo, decorating a card with a holiday greeting and enclosing a photo of themselves.
The money raised in the community service project at Riverside was used for backpacks, school essentials and a school-wide celebration, where the Haitian students received their personalized cards sent by the Riverside students.
Additional funds went to Danita’s Children’s Malnutrition and Medical Center, which provides health care access to children across Haiti who suffer from malnutrition and other treatable illnesses.
Riverside students proudly raised over $11,000 this year for the event.
Originally developed as a joint effort between the school and the PTA, the school’s community service initiative aims to connect students to communities in need and encourage a culture of giving back with its student population throughout the year, according to a statement from the PTA.
“There is an air of excitement every year at the school’s holiday party,” said Karris Hudson, vice president of Danita’s Children. “Our children light up upon receiving their gifts and cards from the Riverside community. On a recent food delivery, I noticed one of these toy gifts hanging on a student’s wall inside their home. These gifts mean everything to these children who have so little, and the generosity of the Riverside community makes their holidays so bright.”
For more information on Riverside’s community service project, visit https://riversidepta.membershiptoolkit.com/holidaysforhaiti or send an email to RivPTACS@gmail.com.

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