Riverside School held its fourth annual community service event, “Holidays for Haiti” from November 8th– November 19th
Students participated virtually and were matched up with over 350 children in need at “Danita’s Children”, a local school in Haiti that educates students in grades K-13. Sponsorship of each child gave students 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 was used for backpacks, school essentials, and a school-wide celebration where they received their personalized cards. Additional funds went to Danita's Children's Malnutrition and Medical Center, which helps provide healthcare 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.
“Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and has been overwhelmed by hardship, natural disasters, and COVID-19,” said Christopher Weiss, Principal, Riverside School, “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.”
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.
“There is an air of excitement every year at the school’s holiday party”, said Karris Hudson the 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.”
Anyone who is interested in donating to Danita’s Children can do so online via https://riversidepta.membershiptoolkit.com/holidaysforhaiti. Riverside School encourages individuals to share this information in the community and with anyone that would be interested in supporting this initiative.