Businesses Boost Christmas for Youngsters in Fitchburg
By Chad Garner
Special to the Sentinel & Enterprise
FITCHBURG -- Thanks to some very generous community members, children at Reingold Elementary School will be smiling on Christmas morning.
Earlier this week, representatives from Avery Dennison Corporation, Charles W. Moore Lodge of Masons and the Aurora Masonic Lodge made a special delivery of over 80 gifts for children in need at Reingold.
“I was happy to discover that the level of generosity more than doubled from last year,” said Fitchburg Public Schools Acting Superintendent Bob Jokela. “It’s heartwarming to meet the generous community members interested in making some of Reingold’s students’ holidays a little brighter.”
Avery Dennison employee Lisa Asselin says this is the second year her company has participated in the Giving Tree, and it’s a gigantic hit with the employees.
“Many are buying gifts for their own children and families, but always seem to find room to sponsor two, sometimes three kids who are part of this,” she said. “It’s great.
“We have people who come from a wide range of backgrounds and a wide range of economic status, but they all find $30 or $40 in their budget to contribute to this, knowing that it’s a large population of kids that are in need of a little extra help and families for a little extra help at Christmas.”
A Giving Tree was set up at Avery Dennison in Fitchburg. Employees could take a tag off the tree that specified which special gift a child from Reingold hoped to unwrap on Christmas morning.
“There’s a lot of people who want to do things, they just need to be shown how to do it,” Asselin said.
Michael Bisceglia, of Aurora Masonic Lodge, calls this initiative “a community effort.”
He added: “It’s perpetual because that is our responsibility as servants to each other. The great thing is to make sure the children who don’t have anything have a smile on Christmas day. It’s about love.”
The ear-to-ear smiles and hearts filled with joy is what the holiday season is all about.
“We know we can put a smile on a kid’s face on Christmas morning,” said Rick Estano, of Avery Dennison. “It puts a smile on your face, too.”
What do all these caring community members hope each child feels when they open these presents on Christmas morning?
“A surprise, the feeling of being loved and the feeling of being wanted,” said Karl Edmands, of the Charles W. Moore Masonic Lodge. “This is all about doing something bigger than yourself.”
Garner is the school district’s communications coordinator.