Hamilton School District students, staff and families showed appreciation for the needs of others during the holidays by contributing to charitable organizations and extending acts of kindness within the community. Following is a summary of activities at each school.
- Lannon Elementary School students, families and staff members contributed generously to a Milwaukee area family of seven that lost its home and possessions to a fire. Fourth grade students in Nancy Collopy’s class organized a schoolwide effort to assist the family by collecting clothing, linens, toys and food. The school also raised more than $800 to purchase items for the family. Collopy and interested students and parents shopped for the family at the Sussex Kohl’s Department Store where the store manager learned about their charitable efforts and offered them additional discounts. Kohl’s clerks and employees later made additional contributions. The father and one of his children visited Lannon, and students presented them with the contributions along with a small Christmas tree decorated with handmade ornaments.
- In addition, the school conducted a successful winter outerwear drive of gently used coats, hats, mittens and scarves and food items for the Sussex Food Pantry.
- Maple Avenue Elementary School Home & School collected more than 435 nonperishable food items for the Sussex Food Pantry. The food drive began at the annual Harvest Dance and extended until Thanksgiving.
- Families also purchased pies during Market Day pie month and donated them to the Sussex Food Pantry.
- First grade classrooms collected food items and toiletries to share with their adopted area family. Students earned money by doing household chores to purchase fresh fruit and turkeys to complete their family's Thanksgiving dinner.
- Another first grade class raised more than $100 by doing extra chores at home so that they could provide the Sussex Food Pantry with special items such as toothpaste, soap, other toiletries and fun character underwear for children.
- First-graders also made new friends during their visits to the Sterling House where they enjoyed decorating cookies, sharing gifts and singing holiday carols.
- The Home and School is conducting a Toys for Tots drive and coat drive. Collected items will be donated to the Sussex Food Pantry.
- In lieu of gift exchanges, the staff and some community members purchased gifts for six Maple Avenue families. More than 90 items were purchased, including coats, hats, mittens, Pick 'n Save gift certificates, books, candy and toys for families in need.
- Marcy Elementary School students filled more than 50 stockings that will be distributed to single mothers and their children through the Hope Network for Single Mothers. The stockings were made by Retired and Senior Volunteer Program volunteers and filled with $1-to-$5 gifts that the children donated. The gifts included toys and games for children and soaps and candies for mothers. A kindergarten teacher from another school, Woodside’s Rachel Sciortino, helped to coordinate the project and deliver the stockings.
- The Woodside Elementary School Student Council sponsored several projects. The school conducted a Coats for Kids drive and donated food items collected at school concerts to the Sussex Food Pantry.
- A collection of food, toiletries, games, writing supplies and letters from students was gathered, boxed and shipped to soldiers. A coin collection from students earned enough money to ship the packages.
- Woodside second-graders participated in a monthlong reading incentive project that will provide a brighter, happier Christmas for less fortunate community members. Students raised $884.74 in the “Books for Toys” project by earning pledges from relatives and friends for every 15 minutes they read. Parent volunteers purchased toys that were donated to the Sussex Food Pantry for delivery to area families before Christmas.
- Willow Spring Learning Center students and their families contributed generously to the Sussex Food Pantry this holiday season. They participated in a service project, “Making Wishes Come True,” that resulted in more than 250 gifts that will be distributed through the Sussex Food Pantry to local families.
- The Sussex Food Pantry also will receive a check from the Evergreen Acres Tree Farm on Town Line Rd. The money comes from $1 donations that Willow Springs kindergartners contributed for a field trip to the tree farm. Owners of the tree farm, the Doperalski family, have donated the field trip contributions to the Sussex Food Pantry for the past several years.
- The Templeton Middle School Student Council sponsored a holiday gift drive among students and staff members. With more than $2,100 raised, the school exceeded last year’s mark by $500. The school adopted seven families through the Waukesha Christmas Clearing Council. Members of the Student Council Executive Board shopped for gifts after school – taking more than 45 minutes just to check out because they had so many items.
- In addition, seventh and eighth grade German students made and decorated Christmas cards for senior citizens. All cards were written in German and delivered to St. John's Nursing Home in Milwaukee.
- Hamilton High School students contributed to various community groups during the holiday season. The Student Council conducted a successful food drive that generated more than 3,000 food items and $214 for the Sussex Food Pantry.
- The Distributive Education Club of America (DECA) chapter adopted a first grade classroom at Milwaukee’s LaFollette Elementary School and provided educational gifts for each of the children. DECA members brought juice and cookies and spent an hour reading and coloring with their first grade friends.
- Club Esprancais (Spanish and French) adopted two families through the Waukesha Christmas Clearing Council and provided winter outerwear and clothing for the four members of each family. In addition, Club Esprancais members and advisors provided a ham and large basket of food for each family along with books, toys, toiletries and various household items.
- Students in Wendy Otto’s classes and advisement adopted three families and donated more than 50 books, toys and clothing to nine children and two adults. Two families were identified through Christmas Clearing Council and one was contacted through a student.
- Four students in Jim Penn’s communication arts class undertook a project to help children who have serious disabilities, cancer or other life-altering diseases celebrate Christmas. The students collected $330 with which they purchased more than 60 children's books that were distributed at St. Joseph's Hospital.
- The school library and National Honor Society organized a mitten tree to bring warmth and comfort to needy individuals. The mittens, socks, caps and scarves will go to the school social worker who will distribute them to needy families in the district. The remainder will go to the Sussex Food Pantry.
- The German Club organized its annual sweater-sweatshirt drive that netted 198 items for Good Shepherd Church’s Hope Network for Single Mothers.
- The Cultural Exchange Club sponsored a family providing them with $300 of clothing and household appliances. The group also donated $20 to the Milwaukee Rescue Mission, $25 to UNICEF and five bags of food to the Sussex Food Pantry.
- The Pep Club sent care packages to wounded soldiers at the Balboa Naval Hospital at Camp Pendleton, Calif. Items that were sent include food, money, stationary, stamps, DVDs, games, personal care products, phone cards, batteries and Dominos pizza gift certificates.
- At the district offices, staff members adopted a family that the school social worker identified as needing support during the holidays. In lieu of exchanging gifts with each other, staff members provided the family with gift certificates, clothing, toys and household goods.