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November 29, 2010 Project Give — The Power of Writing By Danielle Mahoney
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

    Writing is powerful. I know this firsthand. I’ve spent every night for the past few weeks admiring the writing of your students. In an earlier post, "Project Give — Writing for a Cause," I invited teachers around the world to take part in a special Thanksgiving tradition I call Project Give. The response was incredible. With your efforts, I received 2,645 handwritten cards, created to send messages of love to homebound seniors. I read every single card and was overwhelmed by the kind words, funny jokes, beautiful artwork, and uplifting messages written by children so young. Take a look for yourself with the slide show of Project Give’s delivery of handwritten cards to seniors in New York City. 

    Writing From Around the World

    Packages
    As soon as the "Writing for a Cause" post went up, teachers were inspired to get their kids writing. An Angel for Solomon Singer by Cynthia Rylant flew out of my office, and throughout my school, there was a buzz about getting cards created. I can imagine that the same type of excitement was going on in schools all around the world. Each day brought new packages, until I could no longer see my bedroom floor! 

    A local newspaper, the Queens Tribune, contacted me and asked about this special project. They interviewed me and wrote up an article titled "Creating a Reason to Be Thankful," inviting people to get involved. Word was getting around!

    Tribune

    In just a few weeks we collected a total of 2,645 cards. Amazing! 

    Spreading Joy Around the City

    What a great experience! Special thanks to Project Find. They’ve provided services to seniors in New York City for the past 41 years. I would especially like to thank Debra Escort of Project Find for allowing me to add to the craziness of feeding hundreds and hundreds of seniors by accepting our handmade cards. She is one special lady. When I told her how many cards we collected, she almost fainted! She suggested that I contact two other senior centers to see if they would accept some of the cards. And that’s just what I did.

    I was able to deliver 350 cards to Project Find’s Woodstock House and 350 cards to Project Find’s Hamilton House a few nights before Thanksgiving. Although the coordinator, Antonio, was supposed to go home at 6:00 on Tuesday evening, he waited for me at his office for an hour while I made my way through a tremendous amount of New York City traffic. He graciously accepted 700 cards for both locations. 

    Cardstowoodstock

    Cardstohamiltonhouse
    Woodstockmap
    The night before Thanksgiving, we still had a few cards to spare, and I decided to contact Betsy Lazarus, the director of therapeutic recreation for the seniors at the Regal Heights Rehabilitation and Health Care Center in Jackson Heights, New York. My students have worked with the seniors who live there on special projects over the years, so I called up Betsy and asked her how many seniors would be celebrating Thanksgiving at the center this year. A few hours later, 250 cards were delivered.

    Regalheightscards

    Regalheightsmap

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    With 1,695 cards remaining, I headed out to Manhattan with my good friends Maritza and Joanna. I couldn’t do any of this alone! We made it to the Church of St. Paul the Apostle where volunteers were cooking, setting up tables, and getting homebound meals ready for delivery. Together we stuffed hundreds and hundreds of bags with your unique and special cards.

      Stpaulscards

    Stpaulmap

    Dangiftbags

    Jogiftbags

    Maritzagiftbags

    Foodbag


    When we were finished, we lined up by the kitchen to pick up our hot meals. 

    Foodprep

     

    Foodready

    With my car loaded and ready to go, we headed out to make our deliveries.

    Carloaded

    Trafficmapdelivery
    Buildingtop Building

    Maritzajodeliver

    Because of your efforts, seniors across New York City received messages of love and hope this Thanksgiving. Thank you for making this possible. 

    Project Give Slide Show — Share It With Your Students!

    I really enjoyed reading each and every card. I managed to take a few pictures from each package as they arrived. Please take a look at this slide show and enjoy the beautiful artwork and caring words that were written by people of all ages, across the United States and around the world. You just might recognize your own work here! I hope to reach out to all of you again next year. ;) 

     

     

    I am so thankful for the families, teachers of children from preschool to high school, homeschool moms, literacy specialists, Girl Scout troop leaders, speech and language pathologists, life skills teachers, Spanish teachers, Top Teachers, and those of you who sent cards anonymously, for taking the time to become a part of Project Give. Thank you for inspiring the people in your lives to reach out to others and to write for a cause this Thanksgiving.  

    Note: My apologies in advance for any misspellings or omissions in the list below! I would never want to leave anyone out. It is my intention to respectfully thank everyone involved! 

    Extra Special Thanks To . . .

    Scholastic.com

    Maritza Jacobo

    Joanna Tsopelas

     Stephanie Caldon and the students of P.S. 38, Rosedale, New York 

    Julia and Kathy De Rosa, Manhasset, New York 

    Eve Ottavino and the students of P.S. 39, Brooklyn, New York 

    Miss Sanchi and the students of P.S. 86Q, Jamaica, New York 

    Mrs. Gandler’s 5th Grade Class, Munsey Park Elementary School, Manhasset, New York 

    The Fournaris Family, Manhasset, NY 11030 

    Laurie Fiore and Tammy Soshowski, Girl Scout Troop 7330, Wynnewood, Pennsylvania

     The Alpert Family, Manhasset, New York 

    Tiffiny, Madison, and Griffin Smith, Colliers, West Virginia

    Lisa Meyer and the PreK students of Congregational School, Manhasset, New York

    Ruth Rosenthal, Cherise Sorenson, Marci Dollinger, and their 2nd and 3rd grade buddies at Brandeis Hillel Day School, San Rafael, California 

    Theresa Howley and the students of Seckmen Elementary School, Imperial, Missouri

    Linda Stupic and the students of the Marion Center Area School District, Marion Center, Pennsylvania

    Marlene Perea and the students of WE Cherry Elementary, Orange Park, Florida 

    The teachers and students of Richland Elementary School, Abercrombie, North Dakota

    Justine Spriggs and the students of Annsville Elementary School, Taberg, New York 

    Alaya Coles, Shemeeka Harris, and the students of A Child’s Place, East Elmhurst, New York 

    Mandee Loiacono, Vanessa Roman, and the students of Lake Howell High School, Winter Park, Florida 

    Becky Gouinlock and the students of Attica Middle School, Attica, New York

    Rosalie Jean Farrington and the students of St. Andrew School, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 

    Michele Higgins and the students of Midland Elementary School, Paramus, New Jersey

    Bethany Kaiser and the students of the International Christian School, Pyongtaek, Republic of Korea

    Natasha, Eric, and Geetindra, Jamaica, New York 

    Karlee Kircher and the students of Shamona Creek Elementary School, Downingtown, Pennsylvania 

    Donna Kunkle and the students of the Herbert Akins Road Elementary School, Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina 

    Marilyn Yuen and the students of Pomaika'i Elementary School, Kahului, Hawaii

    Clint Wilcox and the students of Springer Elementary School, Mountain View, California

    Mandi Armitage and her students, Roseville, California 

    Dina Mimnaugh and the students of P.S. 148, East Elmhurst, New York

    Christy Crawford and the students of P.S. 51, Bronx, New York 

    Maureen Chen, Flushing, New York 

    Rhonda Guinn and the students of the Bluff City Elementary School, Bluff City, Tennessee

     Lori Raczka and the 1st grade students of Haddam Elementary School, Higganum, Connecticut 

    Christine Beck and the students of Arrowhead Elementary, East Setauket, New York

    Teacher Karnes and the students of Paducah, Kentucky 

    Teacher Halupka and the students of School #1, Little Falls, New Jersey

    Sandy Setka, Julie Rooney, Ksenija Kassis, and the students of classes K1, K2, and K3 at the Edward H. Bryan Elementary School, Cresskill, New Jersey 

    Tina Glackin and the students of Bloomsbury Elementary, Bloomsbury, New Jersey 

    Beth Ondish and the students of Randolph Middle School, Randolph, New Jersey  

    Mrs. Burgio, Ms. Margolis, Ms. Katz, Mrs. Scharen, Ms. Rifkin, and the students in classes 2–419, K–220, 2–417, 5–405 at P.S. 129, College Point, New York

    Karen Buran, Patti Mitchell, Michael Bevilacqua, and the 4th Grade students of Newbridge Road School, North Bellmore, New York

    The teachers and students of St. Michael School, Pawcatuck, Connecticut

    The teachers and 1st graders of Saint Margaret Mary School, Louisville, Kentucky

    Laura Ellison and her students, Decator, Illinois

    The supportive staff at P.S. 212, 

    Jackson Heights, New York:

    Carin Ellis

    Caryn Miller

    Melissa Haidary

    Marjorie LaBarbera

    Kimberly Kissag

    Jessica Ketler

    Rosalinda Chirinos

    Andrea Nicholas

    Irene Zajac

    Chanda Kumar

    Janet Pou

    Amy Lalicata 

    Maria Bermudez

    Christina Figueroa

    Debbie Levy 

    Maribel Ruiz

    Arely Fernandez

    Susannah Levithan

    Deborah Wurgler

    Anitra O’Connor

    Shannon Kiley

    Jennifer Panza

    Rachel Szalkowski

    Rojan Lee

    Annie Cheng

    Monica Fernandez

    Maria Varvatsoulis

    Denise Alvarez

    Helen Skulikidis

    Jennifer Bayer

    Marguerite Savarese

    Noreen Treadway

    Lorne Green

    Marybeth Zaoutis

    and

    all of the AMAZING students, grades K–5 =)

    Big hugs to each and every one of you.

    Love,

    =)

    Danielle Mahoney

      Lovedrawing

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