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Bronxville News

students group photo with gifts on the floor
Bronxville, NY

Bronxville Middle School seventh graders wrapped dozens of gifts for children of the Graham Windham School in Hastings-on-Hudson. As part of a longstanding holiday tradition, the students earned money to purchase the gifts from a wish list before wrapping them together on Dec. 14 and Dec. 17 during their advisory classes. 

“The generosity of our students truly impresses me,” said Daniel Tocci, a science teacher and seventh grade adviser. “Our students really come together as a community to help support those who are less fortunate.” 

The students earned the money to purchase the gifts by doing chores at home. In addition, they held an inaugural walkathon this year to raise additional money. The students walked as many laps as possible during two advisory periods while their parents donated $1 for each lap that their child completed. Once the students collected enough money, they purchased the gifts, which included dolls, Legos, stuffed animals, building blocks and beauty sets, among others. 

“We’ll make a lot of kids happy,” seventh grader Charlotte Dorr said. “It’s very gratifying bringing in something with money that you earned yourself and taking what you earned and making someone else happy instead of spending it on yourself.” 

Seventh grader Mae Rucci added that she’s grateful for the experience, which made her feel good about giving back and appreciate what she has. 

The gift-giving program was established by retired math teacher Gene Orsenigo nearly three decades ago. Since his retirement, the seventh grade advisers have kept this tradition alive. The program provides students with a meaningful experience and raises awareness about the importance of helping others who are less fortunate than themselves.