On December 14, 2020, seven Byron-Bergen staff “elves” entered the Batavia Walmart with one goal: Help ease the holiday stress for members of the Byron-Bergen community. These holiday helpers filled 32 shopping carts with $7,000 worth of merchandise to assist more than 72 kids from 28 local families in need.
For many years, District teachers, staff, and administrators have worked together with local partners to make the season brighter in the Byron-Bergen area. This year’s Holiday Community Service Project collected close to $8,000 in donations from faculty and staff, Byron Presbyterian Church, OXBO, State Street Animal Hospital, the parishioners of St. Brigid, St. Brigid Holy Name Society, and individual community members.
These generous contributions were enhanced by a $1,000 Walmart Community Grant. The grant was applied for by the Byron-Bergen Faculty Association.
“We are grateful to Walmart for helping us meet the needs of our community during this unprecedented time,” said Byron-Bergen Faculty Association President Jen Faro.
The holiday items, purchased from Walmart as well as other retailers, were each wrapped and labeled by Byron-Bergen staff volunteers. It took four days of hard work, but on Saturday, December 19th, staff members delivered black contractor bags filled with brightly wrapped presents to individual cars in the High School bus loop.
The Byron-Bergen Holiday Community Service Project traditionally also collects non-perishable food for distribution. Due to the current public health safety measures, the 2020 project only collected a few food items which were donated to the North Bergen Presbyterian Church Food Pantry. In lieu of their traditional food basket collections, the local Masons at the Hesperus Lodge 837 raised funds to donate forty $30 Walmart gift cards.
“This has been a particularly tough year,” said Byron-Bergen Board of Education President Debra List. “I’m inspired, but not the least bit surprised, that the Byron-Bergen staff and community have once again shown that their kindness is matched only by their generosity and caring.”