Teens Brighten Holidays by Restoring the Shore
Hackettstown High School seniors collecting donations with hopes of filling 18-wheeler to bring to Central Regional High School in Bayville.
Students in the senior class at Hackettstown High School have a lot on their minds these days, from college applications to holiday vacations and everything in between.
But the class, as a whole, has put their normal teenage activities aside with the hopes of helping peers they’ve never met before.
Central Regional High School in Bayville has become more than just a learning institution. Since Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey, the school has been set up as a shelter for community members and has dedicated a wing of its building so students from Seaside Heights Elementary School can have class.
When students at Hackettstown High School heard about this, it was clear what had to be done.
“People really want to help, they want to be involved,” said Scout Bargiel, Hackettstown High School Health and Physical Education Teacher as well as Senior Class Adviser. “The stories we’ve heard (since Sandy) have just been humbling.”
Bargiel said members of the senior class approached her and asked how the student body could help with their own “Restore the Shore” effort. The New Jersey Shore, which was decimated in many areas, is a special place for many of the students as well as Bargiel, whose family owns a home there.
“So many students spend their summers there, go down the shore after prom and so on,” she said. “It means a lot to them to be able to help.”
In conjunction with the boys’ basketball team and coach Mike McDonagh, the senior class is now accepting donations at the high school until Wednesday, Dec. 12. The following day, a donated 18-wheel tractor-trailer will be filled with the items and hauled down to Central Regional High School by all the involved students.
“The most exciting part is being able to do this in person,” Bargiel said. “I think being able to help is great, and having the kids see where their effort is going will make a very big impact.”
The timing of the project is no coincidence, either, Bargiel said. The students are looking to spread holiday cheer and hope their donations and effort can spruce up the holiday spirit for those that have been affected.
There are five Toys for Tots drop-off locations placed around Hackettstown, and the Stuff the Truck effort will be bringing those gifts as well.
The senior class has also fronted its own money to buy and resell Restore the Shore tee shirts, Bargiel said, with profits going to Sandy relief efforts.
“So many students have been so eager to get involved,” Bargiel said. “It’s really been amazing.”
More than a decade from now, when the Hackettstown High School class of 2013 holds its ten-year reunion, it will be able to look back not just at the funny hairdos and choice of clothing, but fondly remember what it did to help Restore the Shore.
Donations can be dropped off at Hackettstown High School, 701 Warren Street at the front lobby during school hours. Donation drop-off will be available on Saturday, Dec. 8 from 8 to 2:30 p.m. in the new gym.
For more information and a list of goods requested, see the attached PDF flier.