My Turn: ‘Proud to be a resident of this City of Giving’


Published: 1/21/2020 9:52:54 AM

Greenfield is the City of Giving. This was clear for me when I sponsored the August Month of Kindness. It was confirmed when I worked as a volunteer with Greenfield High School for its Community Service Learning Day on Dec. 20. The generosity of this community made this event a rousing success. Students in grades 8 through 12 participated in a variety of activities including making fleece tie blankets for the needy, compiling blessing bags for adults and children that went to Community Action and the local shelter, and baking holiday treats for the less fortunate.

Another highlight of this day was the Drive-Up, Drop-Off donation site at the front of the building. People were able to drive up and drop off new and gently used winter gear as well as diapers, pet food and other non-perishable items. These donations went to Community Action, the Family Center, and our local food pantry, the Center for Self-Reliance.

Since there is not a budget for this activity and supplies for the various projects are costly, we sought donations from businesses and community members. I would like to acknowledge and thank many of these kind and generous folks. Businesses that provided us with financial support include Kostanski Funeral Home, Franklin First Credit Union, People’s United Bank, and Greenfield Savings Bank. Gift cards and in-kind donations were provided by Big Y, Stop & Shop, Walmart, Home Depot, Foster’s, and Wilson’s. Also a thank you to United Way for passing along Scholastic books that were used in our various projects, and the Greening Greenfield group that provided T-shirts for our neck-warmer and grocery bag projects. There were also a number of individual donations made by members of the community, too many to thank personally, but we are very appreciative.

We want to also thank Mary Pensak from the Textile Company for her personal donation of fleece for the blankets and her time and her friends’ to work with students on other sewing projects that day. Also, thanks to Avery Schleeweis, who organized members of the Senior Center to work with high school students on creating cards of encouragement.

A day of this magnitude does not happen without lots of support from many people. Our thanks to the following: Andrea Pasquini, assistant principal and project director; the Greenfield Fire Department for setting up the heated tent for Drive-Up, Drop-Off, Greenfield Department of Public Works for the barricades for signs, Doni Beauregard and print shop staff at the Sheriff’s Department for flyers, and of course the staff and students of Greenfield High School.

As donations were distributed that afternoon, service agencies were extremely grateful and said these goods will be very appreciated by recipients. I am also sure that the elementary students who got to work with high school students that day and recipients of holiday music from our music students were also grateful for these individuals’ participation.

Thank you, Greenfield, for being a community that cares and gives generously to others. I am proud to be a resident of this City of Giving.

Shirley Gilfether is a resident of Greenfield.

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