Birchwood and Project HOPE Keeps it Local

Our 3rd-graders took to this new project with gusto and their bags will bring smiles to all who enjoy.
Our 3rd-graders took to this new project with gusto and their bags will bring smiles to all who enjoy.
Birchwood 4th graders have a tray of cookie dough ready for cooking.
Birchwood 4th graders have a tray of cookie dough ready for cooking.
Birchwood 5th-graders make sandwiches that they will add to the beautifully decorated lunch bags along with the tasty cookies.
Birchwood 5th-graders make sandwiches that they will add to the beautifully decorated lunch bags along with the tasty cookies.
‘Ole Saint Nick himself adds a tray to the oven and keeps a close eye on the baking cookies.
‘Ole Saint Nick himself adds a tray to the oven and keeps a close eye on the baking cookies.
Birchwood’s finest prepare a hearty diner that included salad, lasagna and brownies.
Birchwood’s finest prepare a hearty diner that included salad, lasagna and brownies.
Mr. Ryan demonstrates his culinary prowess as he prepared a batch of brownies to be baked.
Mr. Ryan demonstrates his culinary prowess as he prepared a batch of brownies to be baked.

In the spirit of giving, Birchwood students had the opportunity to participate in a community service activity right before the Winter break by helping out the less fortunate in our community. Project HOPE (Helping Other People Eat), is a local Huntington group founded by the youth of St. Hugh’s Parish to help the hungry in the Huntington Station area. 

On a recent Monday morning at Birchwood, third-grade students decorated paper bags with positive, cheerful holiday messages and pictures. Later that same day fourth-grade students worked in the cafeteria to bake cookies. Using premade chocolate chip cookie tubs, students sat at cafeteria tables and scooped the cookie dough onto a tray, and then staff members baked them to a heavenly golden brown.

A few days later, our fifth-grade students made tasty sandwiches. They worked in an assembly line to place cold cuts on pieces of bread and then wrapped the sandwiches. They also packed the sandwiches with the package of cookies in the decorated paper bags. This wonderful activity helped emphasize the importance of giving to the less fortunate during the holiday season.

A few days prior to the student Project HOPE activity, the kitchens at Birchwood had a visit from Old Saint Nick himself. Santa and his staff managed to slip in an afternoon of their own good will. Seems that for years Santa and his elves have been annually preparing and baking a special dinner and dessert so that needy people in our community may have a better holiday season. Below is a rerun of a favorite ode that depicts the holiday spirit at Birchwood.

So with the children all nestled, snug in their bus,

All of Birchwood’s finest headed to the cafeteria, never making a fuss;

He was dressed in Ciccarelli, from his head to his toes,

And he’s always impeccable, every one of his clothes;

A bundle of pasta he had placed on the table,

Lasagna for all, he called to the able.

They sprang to their stations, these givers of cheer,

And away they all flew creating dinners before the New Year;

But I heard him exclaim, as I drove off to edit,

Not a word about me; it’s my elves who deserve all the credit!

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”