December 21, 2018
Holiday Shoe Boxes
Staff members from Merakey’s foster care program in Washington County, PA teamed up with students from Upper Saint Clair’s Boyce Middle School and Chartiers Houston’s Allison Park Elementary School to collect and deliver holiday gifts to several support agencies that work with children.
“It’s our families who have been amazing with helping us,” commented Allison Park Guidance Counselor Georganne Matise. “The program teaches the kids the act of sharing and giving and helps them to see how fortunate they are.”
At each site, Merakey staff, students and faculty formed human chains to move the shoe boxes from the school to inside the delivery truck. The wrapped boxes were filled by students at the schools with small toys, hats, gloves, treats and hygiene products. Over 800 boxes were collected this year, of which 578 were donated to Merakey programs!
“Just doing this makes me really happy to help people,” said Layla, a 5th grader at Boyce. “I’m glad they’ll have these boxes.”
Eight students were selected to accompany Merakey staff to deliver the shoe boxes to the offices of outreach programs that serve the region, including the Washington County Children and Youth Services and a local soup kitchen. The day wrapped-up with a pizza party at Merakey’s Waterdam office for the students, Merakey staff and Canonsburg Mayor David Rhome. The students shared what they had learned that day and judged a door decorating contest at the Merakey office.
For 15 years, Merakey’s foster care program has participated in this annual holiday activity, which brings joy to so many!