Student-led Clothing Drive to Honor Sandy Hook Victim
When Jack Ginter ’23 first heard about the Ana Grace Project, he was instantly inspired to find a way to help. The Ana Grace Project is a charity organization founded in memory of Ana Grace Márquez-Greene, who was one of the 20 first graders killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook School shooting.
“The Sandy Hook shooting was a tragedy that really touched all of us. For me at least, there was always a feeling of helplessness,” Ginter explains.
As he explored different ways to contribute, Ginter discovered the organization’s “Love Wins” campaign. Part of this campaign includes an annual clothing drive organized by Ana Grace’s mother Nelba Márquez-Greene in memory of her daughter.
“When I saw Ana Grace’s adorable smiling face on Nelba’s website and began researching about the initiative, I knew the clothing drive was something we could do to honor this little girl and her family,” Ginter says. “Avon is one of the most giving and community-oriented schools out there, so I knew we could make a massive impact.”
The Helping Hands for CT Club, which this year is led by Ginter and faculty advisor Mrs. Katy Perry, has been participating in this clothing drive since 2019. Each year students set up donation bins around campus, make announcements, and then collect, wash, and deliver any donated clothes to Nelba’s project in New Britain.
“Nelba’s whole goal was to turn a tragically devastating situation into a positive one. All of these clothing donations go to the local struggling community in New Britain, Connecticut. They call the donation drive, ‘Love Wins,’ and truly embody the words. It is a small gesture to donate a pair of winter gloves or a winter coat, but it makes a huge difference.”
Anyone interested in helping can do so by donating new or gently-used clothing items like gloves, hats, coats, shirts, pants, etc. There will be drop off bins around campus, including one in the Hawks Nest and outside of the Brown Auditorium.
The last day people can drop off clothing will be December 14. Students will then deliver the clothes before they depart for winter break.
This clothing drive is not the only community service event currently taking place. The Toys for Tots fundraising effort is one of the most honorable traditions at AOF, and this year’s campaign is under way.
The annual event is organized by the Student Council, who raise funds to buy gifts so that less-fortunate children in our local area wake up with presents on Christmas. Thousands of dollars are raised every year through various events like a pasta dinner and student dress-down days, with all the money used to purchase toys to be gifted to children.
Anyone looking to support the cause can mail a check payable to Avon Old Farms School, attn. Business Office, at 500 Old Farms Road, Avon, Connecticut 06001. To contribute over the phone, or for any other questions, please call 860-404-4219 and our business office will be happy to help.