The NHS Giving Tree Project
NHS staff is always thinking of ideas to support our consumers while bringing smiles upon their faces and joy into their hearts. The NHS Montgomery County Youth Advisory Board (MCYAB) which is comprised of staff, clients and their families collected a variety of items (pencils, crayons, play doh, colored pencils, journals, coloring books, stickers, decks of cards, activity books and used cereal boxes) to make “Peace and Smile Boxes” to distribute throughout programs of NHS. If you have ever read Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, you will understand the premise of this activity. It is designed to teach children about charity and giving. On December 30, 2015, the board met at the NHS office in Colmar, PA to fill, wrap and decorate the boxes that were adorned in white paper and each had its own happy thought and/or inspirational message. The advisory board collected enough items to prepare 89 boxes. Afterwards, the group celebrated its accomplishments with a pizza party.
The Merakey Foundation was responsible for distributing the boxes to various NHS programs. On Wednesday, January 6, 2016, the students at the NHS School-Reading were surprised by a special visit from the foundation and all 50 students were elated to receive a “Peace and Smile Box”. Dorian Smith, Director of Development, Merakey Foundation, said, “it was an overwhelming experience to see the ear-to-ear smiles on the faces of the students when opening their gifts and discovering what was inside of the recycled cereal boxes”. Many thanks to the NHS Montgomery County Youth Advisory Board for completing this worthwhile project while learning about charity and giving.