C.R.E.W. launches Gifts for Hope

On Friday, November 12, C.R.E.W. leadership met to launch the annual all-school philanthropy Gifts for Hope.

Junior Autumn Strebel and senior Ashley Jarrold are heading the event. History teacher and C.R.E.W. leadership moderator Todd Naumann, Assistant Director of Admissions and Enrollment Jennifer Tumser, and Director of Student Life Mike Orlando are also assisting with the event.

“The event is for a program called Hope Emergency. Hope Emergency is based out of Brown County, Ohio, and they are a nonprofit that helps families in need who otherwise couldn’t give their younger children a Christmas,” Tumser said.

Teenagers between the ages of 12 and 18 will be the recipients of the gifts.

“We’re looking for hygiene items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, and hairbrushes. We’re also [asking for] two warm clothing items, so things like socks, hats, and scarves, and two [other] items, like coloring pages and nail polish,” Jarrold said.

A competition between C.R.E.W. classes has been set up to boost the number of donations received. “The biggest goal is to have every C.R.E.W. create four boxes,” Strebel said. “There’s 36 C.R.E.W.S., so that would be 144 boxes. We rounded up and said our schoolwide goal was 150. We’re hoping some parents and alumni will also want to make them. The first turn-in day is November 23, and whoever wins on that day gets a breakfast party. The last collection is on December 2, and we’re considering giving the top winner on that day lunch or something like that.”

If McNicholas reaches the schoolwide goal of 150 boxes by December 2, they will be rewarded with a sweats day on December 3.

Jarrold and Strebel both agreed that the gift-wrapping party has been their favorite part of working on the committee for Gifts for Hope in the past.

“We get together and we wrap up all the boxes. There’s always a lot of trial and error because obviously, we don’t want to just hand them shoeboxes. We have to wrap the boxes to where they can be opened and stay wrapped, so trying to maneuver it around the lids is a lot of fun. No one really knows what they’re doing, but we all figure it out eventually,” Strebel said.

Gifts for Hope began with Director of Communications and Marketing Anne Jones when she was Student Council moderator. “Natalie Martinez, a McNick alumni, and Mrs. Jones teamed up and started this as the student council service project,” Tumser said. “When I went on board for Student Council a few years ago, I made sure that we stayed with it and that it continued to take place. Now it’s rolled over from Student Council to C.R.E.W. Leadership.”

Each C.R.E.W. classroom received four boxes to fill with hygiene items, clothing, and fun items. “We’re hoping to get as many [donations] as possible, as we’re always trying to top the year before,” Strebel said. In 2020, McNicholas donated 231 boxes to Hope Emergency, which helped over 600 families.

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