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Third-Graders Provide Hope and Comfort for Homeless Children

Third-Graders Provide Hope and Comfort for Homeless Children
We know first-hand the kind of comfort these packages will provide children whose lives have been turned upside down.

Students, staff and parents at Maroun Elementary School in Phoenix, Oswego County, recently pitched in to create 140 care packages for homeless children in Central New York, aiding the efforts of the Project Night Night (PNN) organization (www.projectnightnight.org).

The school organizers delivered about 40 of the packages to the Central New York Chapter of the American Red Cross, which will distribute them to children who are left homeless by a fire or another disaster in the chapter’s five counties: Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga and Oswego.

PNN, a non-profit organization, donates more than 25,000 "Night Night Packages" each year, free of charge, to homeless children in need of childhood essentials. Each bag contains a blanket, children's book, stuffed animal and toothbrush. The Parent Faculty organization donated $350 to purchase the sturdy tote bags. A local dentist donated 140 toothbrushes.

The bags are designed to comfort children who rarely receive gifts due to difficult times.

The Maroun staff and the community parents and students collected the items to create the packages. Once all the materials were gathered, third-grade students congregated in the school cafeteria to assemble the packages to be delivered.

Nora Germain, school counselor, and Chris Prenoveau, a physical education teacher, visited the Red Cross in late December to deliver the bags to Disaster Specialist Susan Pope.

“We thank the students and staff at Maroun Elementary for their incredible kindness and generosity,” Susan said. “We respond to home fires or other disasters nearly every day in our chapter, and sadly many of those incidents involve children. We know first-hand the kind of comfort these packages will provide children whose lives have been turned upside down.”

In the photos:

Nora Germain (left), school counselor at Maroun Elementary School, and Chris Prenoveau (right), a physical education teacher, present the Project Night Night bags to American Red Cross Disaster Program Specialist Susan Pope at the Red Cross office in downtown Syracuse.

The third-grade students at Maroun Elementary School with their Project Night Night bags (courtesy of Nora Germain).