FITCHBURG — There’s no greater gift than the gift of giving back.
Helping others in need is a mission for students at Reingold Elementary School.
The fifth-grade Student Council at Reingold — comprised of 14 students — have made it their mission to keep kids warm during these frigid winter months by conducting a student-led clothing drive through Friday, Jan. 20.
“We’re developing leaders,” said Reingold student council advisor and assistant principal, Anna Hill. “The best leaders are the leaders who serve and work together with their communities. We want to make our school a place everyone wants to come to every single day. We’re bringing the whole school together and giving them a sense of belonging. This is empowering for them.”
Reingold’s student council is comprised of: Ethan Acevedo, Deb Barbosa, Ellen Cooper, Nathan Earley, Bruce Knight, Julian Maldonado, Inti Mendez, Jacob Mercedes, Zarianys Rentero Santiago, Casey Rice, Genesis Torres-Lebron, Juliet Valentin, Alejandro Yang and Adiel Torres.
There are donation bins located in the entrance of school and outside the cafeteria where students can drop off new warm-weather gear, including hats, gloves, mittens, socks and scarves.
“It’s really important because people that don’t have (winter items) will be cold,” Earley said. “When you’re cold … it’s not good to be cold.”
Helping those in need is what truly matters to these students.
“It feels really good to know that we’re helping a lot of people out there,” Maldonado said. “Especially knowing that the people that we’re helping are people that don’t have that much.”
“It’s important because some people can’t afford it or don’t have it and it’s important to help them,” Cooper said. “I feel good because I have a lot of stuff that we don’t use and I can give it to other people and it helps them.”
“It’s a good thing to help people in need who can’t afford it,” Mendez said.
“People need socks and everything,” he said. “It really helps them because it’s really cold outside sometimes and you don’t want to freeze outside. It’s really helpful to them.”
In the end, it’s all about being kind.
“It’s important for me because it shows how we all can be kind to each other,” Rice said. “It’s being kind in a giant community. It’s wintertime, so people can stay warm because other people are donating this stuff. A lot of people can be kind to each other and spend time with each other and be warm.”
The group is also accepting community donations that can be dropped off at the school during normal school hours. The student council has already received outside donations from Karl Edmands and the Charles W. Moore Lodge of Masons, and from Richard Noll of the Pike School in North Andover — the father of Reingold teacher, Matt Noll.