Newark Students Donate Care Packages for Residents

Three clear plastic boxes with white lids in a row. Flower, rainbow, heart, and star stickers are visible on the top and sides of the boxes. Inside, a box of hot chocolate, a mug, gloves, and tissues are among the items shown.

With their “Love in a Tub” service-learning project, students from the Avon Avenue School in Newark gathered a variety of gift items and assembled kits to donate to residents in The Arc of Essex County group homes this spring.

Each class at the school filled a plastic container with gifts such as winter gloves, activity books, hand lotion, socks, scarves, small blankets, mugs, tea, coffee, and hot cocoa. They also included a cheerful card with a note from the students. More than a dozen “Love in a Tub” kits were given to residents in different group homes, including Beechtree, Millburn, Green Ave, and Ashwood residences. Each recipient has been excited to use the gifts inside. Gabriela at Beechtree, for example, has been showing off her word-search skills to staff since receiving an activity book. Emmanuela at the Millburn home has been enjoying her new journal, and when she returns from day programs she has been writing and coloring in it. Caryn at Green Avenue especially loves the flower stencil maker. Felicia at the Ashwood residence loves wearing the socks she received and keeps the fleece blanket on her bed.

Empathy is one of the Avon Avenue School’s values, and the “Love in a Tub” project was a way for students to demonstrate empathy and deepen their understanding of the value. The recipients of their efforts are truly grateful. The Arc of Essex County thanks the students at the Avon Avenue School, as well as school counselor Glenda Capers, for their kindness and generosity.