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This winter season, the students of Norfolk Academy dedicated themselves to spreading holiday cheer to communities in need.

One of the early service efforts was by members of the Batten Leadership Program, who brought in gifts to support senior Antonia Baudoin’s project with Dos Santos Food Pantry. On December 4, Antonia and other Fellows traveled to the Eastern Shore to distribute the collected clothes and toys to children of 137 migrant working families.

“The Christmas drive was amazing, and I loved getting to meet and talk with so many kids,” Antonia said. “They were all so kind and sweet, and after they got their gifts, they would grab some hot chocolate and cookies and hang out with us. One of the most touching moments for me was when one of the little boys was so happy about his gift that he kept asking when we would all meet up and do this again. He was only about 5 years old, but he wanted to make sure that he and his dad knew exactly when and where it would happen next year so that he wouldn’t miss it!”

Later on in the season, the Fine Arts Association hosted a showing of Charlie Brown Christmas to unify the NA community in de-stressing before midterm exams and celebrating the end of a great semester. About the fundraiser, Taran Jeevan ‘23 said, “The money collected from entrance fees will fund future endeavors as the Association strives to further the arts not just in NA but in the greater community.”

At the movie, Girl Up Club sold hot chocolate and cookies as a part of its annual Cocoa for a Cause campaign. All of the proceeds went to the Girl Up Foundation, a by girls, for girls movement working to attain gender equality through education and empowerment.

Among the other projects:

  • Students in all three divisions donated pajamas that went to the nonprofit Pajama Jams organization that provides families warm winter wear.
     
  • Special Olympics Club hosted a holiday party for Special Olympics athletes.
     
  • CHKD Club kicked off its annual gift drive to uplift patients in the CHKD hospital. 
     
  • Fourth graders collected coats for in-need families as part of a drive in association with WAVY-TV.
     
  • Sixth graders donated clothes for residents of Lake Taylor Transitional Care Hospital in Norfolk.
     
  • Senior Literacy Fellows Anna Russell, Freddie Tavakoli, Meghan Savage, and Annalee Marling baked cookies for the NA grounds staff to show collective appreciation for all they do.

As students return to campus in 2023, they are continuing to be dedicated to these inspiring individuals and communitiesMiddle School students donated books that Literacy Fellows and Upper School Book Club members are going to share with students they tutor and Little Free Libraries; and the faculty-student basketball game on January 18 raised money and awareness for Sam's Warriors, which allows families to be with their children who need to be hospitalized.

- This article was written by Communications intern Annabelle Dyer '23

Mr. Mitchell joined with students who volunteered to help the Dos Santos Food Pantry on Virginia's Eastern Shore.

Mr. Mitchell joined with students who volunteered to help the Dos Santos Food Pantry on Virginia's Eastern Shore during the holiday season.

Students provided both gifts and food to families in need.

Students provided both gifts and food to families in need.

On December 4, 2022, Fellows traveled to the Eastern Shore to distribute the collected clothes and toys to children.

On December 4, 2022, Fellows traveled to the Eastern Shore to distribute the collected clothes and toys to children of 137 migrant working families.

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