The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

WA assists with toy drive

By Charlotte Redman
Staff Writer

The holiday season is nearing and starting November 21 Clarendon Early Education Services, with the help of senior Fatimah Nouilati, placed a box inside Westford Academy’s guidance department in order to collect toys for underprivileged children across the state of Massachusetts.

Clarendon Family Daycare, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping low-income families in Lowell, Lawrence, Springfield, and the Greater Areas of Boston. They have been providing child care services for 35 years and 100% of their clients are families who receive welfare assistance and/or teenage mothers who are either in school or working towards getting their G.E.D.

According to Executive Director Margaret McDonald, “they’re very financially challenged families and every year we do something to try to brighten the holidays a little bit for the kids.”

Clarendon Early Education Services cares for children from birth to age 13.

“We tend to see most donations for the preschool age-range and one group of kids that particularly breaks my heart is the kids aged 7-12, because they’re still kids. People don’t tend to think about older kids when they see a toy drive so much, so I like to encourage people to remember the kids that are 7 or 8 or 9. They’re still young and they still need taking care of,” said McDonald.

Clarendon Early Education Services used to partner with Toys for Tots but cannot anymore as nowadays the toys collected through Toys for Tots can only be donated to families who receive welfare. Not all of the families involved with C.E.E.S. are given welfare and instead of giving up their solution has been to start their own toy drive.

“It’s been a tough five years for businesses and we’re coming out of a recession so why don’t we just invite businesses in the community to become partners with us in just collecting toys. That way people get the opportunity [to participate] and if they can afford to donate they can just pop a toy in the box, but it doesn’t put pressure on the businesses to actually do a donation check, because [some] people just can’t [donate] anymore,” said McDonald.

Their goal is to collect at least one toy for each child out of the 650-700 they care for daily. The box will be collected just about a week before Christmas so the toys can be distributed between the families.

According to McDonald, “any contributions are greatly appreciated.”

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