It’s hard enough convince children that they should take off their Halloween costumes or give up their candy, but for the students at St. Andrew’s Day School, it was surprisingly easy.
Less than 48 hours after Superstorm Sandy forced its way through town, the school community decided to rally together and collect donations for children most greatly affected by flooding in New Jersey.
Following the school’s parade just days after the storm, first-year parent Kelly Huszar coordinated the effort and contacted Tom’s River Patch editor Catherina Galioto in New Jersey. Huszar got directed to a shelter in New Jersey that needed donations, and the enthusiastic mom then began spreading the word to other parents at St. Andrew's.
“Here’s children who have been evacuated from their homes—missing teddy bears, missing their favorite clothes… and [Halloween] was something they were looking forward to, but then didn’t happen,” Huszar said.
For the remainder of the week, Huszar spread the word and told everyone in the school that she was collecting donations to benefit local children who didn’t get to dress up or collect candy.
“[Huszar] really is a super mom,” said St. Andrew’s Head of School Leslie Redwine. “She did everything, and I am so grateful, because it is consistent with the mission of the school.”
Last Monday, Huszar was overwhelmed with emotion as she saw her planning and hard work pay off, with dozens of children donating their costumes along with pounds of candy.
“It was so heartening [last Monday] morning to come in and see costumes and candy. I was just so excited,” said Assistant Head of School Casey Martin.
In the end, the school was able to fill nearly a dozen printer boxes full of donations to benefit kids in New Jersey. The costumes and candy were additionally sorted so children receiving the donations could easily find an outfit they enjoyed and one that actually fit them.
The effort took a little bit of work, some coordinating and stress, but it was totally worth it, Huszar said.
“It’s very hard for a little kid. Some of these kids I know like to live in their costumes for days or weeks after. This is really asking of them and teaching them the importance of looking at the needs of others who are less fortunate,” Redwine said.