Mercersburg students, Rotary Club band together to help kids

December 12, 2007|By ASHLEY HARTMAN

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - More than 80 students from Mercersburg Academy helped make the holidays cheerier for children in the Tuscarora Area School District who might otherwise receive very little this Christmas.

The students wrapped more than 1,000 presents for the project "Santa's Toy Box," an effort taken on by the Mercersburg Rotary Club six years ago. The project provides needy children, ages 12 and younger, with Christmas presents each year.

"We have 141 children that we have bought toys/clothes for," said Liza Main, president of the Mercersburg Rotary Club. That equates to 59 families, Main said.

Each child will receive $60 worth of toys and clothes to be delivered by five Rotary Club members dressed as Santa Claus on Dec. 23, Main said.


"It is based on people calling and telling us people could use our help," Main said.

The project is funded by donations from the Mercersburg community. So far, $8,840 has been raised from 89 individual and corporate sponsors, Main said. Last year, $9,081 was raised for the project for 119 children, so the Rotary Club is looking to raise at least that much this year, Main said.

"We have another corporate sponsor we believe will come through," Main said. "So far, our community has been just wonderful."

While most of the students were at the First United Methodist Church of Mercersburg to wrap the presents as a requirement for community service for the freshman class, many upperclassmen also volunteered their time.

"Freshman are required, but everyone else could come if they wanted," junior Ben Wiley said. "I think it's always a good thing to do."

Junior Stephanie Seibert came Tuesday because she likes wrapping presents.

Jordan Krutek, a sophomore, said she liked wrapping so much last year that she came back this year.

"I had a lot of fun (last year) and I like helping the community," Krutek said. "It's a really great way to give back to the community."

Some of the freshman, including Angelina Magal, said they would help with the project even if they were not required.

"I'm very happy that we help out because I think it's a responsibility we need to fulfill," Magal said. "Even if this wasn't required, I'd definitely be here."

"We're glad that the Mercersburg Academy can actually help the town," freshman Euna Noh said.

The students wrapped as many presents as they could in an hour-and-a-half and the Rotary Club, which has 23 members, was going to finish the rest, Main said.

"We couldn't do this without them," said Carl Reisner, a member of the Mercersburg Rotary Club.

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