The Success of the PNC Christmas Angel Program

The PNC Christmas Angel donation program is one of the most successful drives that the PNC puts on.  Donations (above) are put into bags, unwrapped, before being brought to local homes.

The PNC Christmas Angel donation program is one of the most successful drives that the PNC puts on. Donations (above) are put into bags, unwrapped, before being brought to local homes.

Story by Sienna Ponte, Staff Writer

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Most people know that the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center is a senior center and a social service agency. They provide lunches, exercise classes, trips, painting, and more for local seniors. It also gives the seniors a chance to volunteer. When asked what the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center does, Susan Sedensky, the Executive Director, replied, “We provide food, clothing, personal hygiene items free to people in need in Stonington, North Stonington, and Westerly. Also rental and fuel assistance, and help with job searches.”

It is said that their most successful drive is the “Christmas Angel Gift Program” that collects Christmas toys for babies, toddlers and teens. An abundance of toys were collected, then given to more than 400 kids in the area.

Ms. LaCombe, one of the advisors for the National Honors Society here at Stonington High School, commented, “When Mrs. Gauthier and I asked NHS members what service projects they would be interested in organizing this school year, one of the projects they chose was to help with the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center’s Christmas Angels Annual Gift-Giving Event.” One of the members of NHS, Lily Bockowski, contacted the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center and helped arrange the whole thing, which is how NHS really got involved. NHS reached out to homebases, asking for volunteers to help donate to the program.

When asked why she thinks it’s important for schools and students to be involved with something like the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center, LaCombe responded, “I think it is important for students to see that they can make a positive difference in the world – that they can improve another person’s life. Oftentimes, people discover their own passions through helping others, and they form close friendships with others as they work together.”

Other homebases work together each year to be a part of the Christmas Angel Gift Program as well. Mr. McCarney and Mrs. Reilly’s two homebases have signed up together for the last three years to collect money, shop and then donate to the cause. “We have raised hundreds of dollars each year between our two homebases. Typically we sponsor two children, but this year we elected to sponsor just one. We were really able to get this young child many age appropriate toys and clothing to help make his Christmas special,” Mrs. Reilly said.

The Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center will continue to reach out to SHS and the surrounding community for donations, especially around the holidays.

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The Success of the PNC Christmas Angel Program