Shortly before winter break, the Cape Henlopen School District once again hosted its Community Caring event, an effort designed to help local families within the district over the holiday season.
For the last several years, the Community Caring event has been coordinated by the district’s homeless liaison and assistant homeless liaison. Local community groups, organizations and individuals sign up to sponsors students in need, committing to providing them with gifts to wake up to on Christmas morning.
In addition to sponsoring students, several local groups also donated large amounts of items to provide for families, including hygiene products such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant and toothpaste; and household supplies like bath towels, laundry detergent, and cleaning solution; plus board games, blankets, pillows, pajamas and warm coats.
“We’ve now hosted the Community Caring event for the last seven years,” said Shawna Steinmann, assistant homeless liaison for Cape Henlopen School District. “This event continues to bring our local community together to help our students and families in need during the holiday season.”
This year, the effort netted gifts for about 149 families and 381 children.
“Students who are classified as homeless are the first be given a donor,” said Craig Warrington, district homeless liaison. “After those students are accounted for, we work with the counselors in each of our buildings to help identify other families that could use the extra support during the holiday season.”
Thanks to the five truckloads of hygiene products donated by Polka Dot Powerhouse Lewes chapter, beneficiaries were also able to select personal hygiene products needed for the whole family.
“We’ve been fortunate with Nicola’s collecting and donating varying sizes of pajamas every year, so once again we were able to provide each of the kids with a new set of PJs,” said Steinmann.
Organizations dropped off their donations to volunteers to organize at The Crossing (Lewes Church of Christ) on Route 1 north of Lewes. The church donated space over the course of three days to collect, organize and distribute the gifts. “This is the second year we’ve been able to work with The Crossing. Last year’s event was different due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we’re very grateful for the partnership with The Crossing,” said Warrington. “It has helped make the process continue to run smoothly and efficiently.”
For more information about the 2021 Community Caring event, and for details regarding current donation needs for students and families, go to capehenlopenschools.com/donations.