Seniors' Community Service Project Raises $730 for Safe Haven


Seniors' Community Service Project Raises $730 for Safe Haven

A Class of 2017 community service project – a sale for children to buy affordable holiday gifts for family and friends – raised $730 for Safe Haven.

From left: Safe Haven Associate Director Margaret Rosa, seniors Sophie McLaughlin and Sarah Cavallaro, and Safe Haven Executive Director Lee Schlesinger

Seniors' Community Service Project Raises $730 for Safe Haven

The Class of 2017's Community Service Project – the Community Corner Kids' Holiday Sale held on December 4 – raised $730.01 for Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury, which supports victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Seniors Sarah Cavallaro and Sophie McLaughlin coordinated the sale, which offered children from area communities the opportunity find affordable presents – up to 10 items at $1 each – for family members and friends. In January, Sarah and Sophie visited Safe Haven to present a check to Safe Haven's Executive Director Lee Schlesinger and Associate Director Margaret Rosa.

It was the second year in a row that young children from area communities were able to go to the holiday sale to find affordable presents for family members and friends.

"It was great seeing the happiness on the kids' faces," Sarah said, "when they picked something out that they thought a family member or a friend might want. They really also enjoyed talking about what they were going to do for Christmas or Hanukkah."

Sarah organized the first sale in 2015 as an individual community service project with the help of family, fellow students, and faculty members. She based the sale on one organized by the late Karen Kemp, Sarah's former guidance counselor at Middlebury Elementary School. The 2015 sale raised $610, which Sarah also donated to Safe Haven.

Because of the success of the first sale, the Class of 2017 decided to organize a sale again as a class community service project. Members of the class volunteered to collect donated items – candles, books, toys, tools, jewelry, wrapping paper, and other items – from faculty, staff, students and their families, as well as donations from members of area communities. Seniors helped set up and run the gift sale, which included a wrapping station. Maggie Nuñez-Fernandez '98, a science teacher and dorm parent, served as a faculty advisor for the holiday sale.

"We hope it will continue to be a class community service project for future senior classes," Sarah said.