The Island was abuzz with holiday spirit in December as Winter Break approached and students, faculty, and staff found time to connect with local community members and celebrate the season on campus.
A collaboration of 32 Loomis Chaffee groups and organizations, including offices, dorms, advisor groups, student clubs, faculty families, and the Loomis Chaffee Parents Association, collected donations of gifts and money to support local families through Project Santa and Holiday Help community initiatives. For many years Loomis has supported Holiday Help, which is organized by Windsor Social Services to aid town residents, many of whom are seniors living alone. Project Santa is an initiative organized by Grace Episcopal Church, Windsor Chamber of Commerce, and First Town Downtown in Windsor and helps local families with children celebrate the holidays by providing items on family gift wish lists.
The school’s donation efforts were coordinated by Heather Henderson, director of Loomis’ Community Service Program, with assistance from students in after-school community service and other volunteers. Several carloads of warm clothing, housewares, toys, books, decorations, holiday treats, and other gifts were delivered to the local organizations on Friday, December 13.
In addition to helping with the all-school donation effort, students in the Community Service Program took part in several holiday-themed community outreach and support programs: They decorated and donated wreaths for a fundraising auction in support of Alzheimer’s disease research at Kimberly Hall nursing and rehabilitation facility in Windsor; served as “Santa’s helpers” at a kids craft activity supporting Mary’s Place and its work with bereaved families; traveled to Hartford’s Joseph Belizzi School for games and cookie-baking with middle-school children; and organized and decorated the Community Service Room in Katharine Brush Library for a Loomis Chaffee Parents Association service project event on December 11.
The student-led Pelican Service Organization hosted a gingerbread house-making contest for students on December 13, and the elaborately decorated creations were delivered to local senior living and nursing facilities to provide seasonal cheer.
Senior Megan Lam and juniors Emma Kane and Lilly Sounders organized a toy drive to bring holiday gifts to children at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. They collected toys and monetary donations during the week of December 9–13 and will deliver them to the hospital before December 25.
The Katharine Brush Library and Writing Initiatives faculty hosted a hot cocoa and card-writing activity for students in the library during evening study hours.
Mother Nature provided a festive backdrop of snow for many Island holiday traditions. Dorms celebrated by decorating together, exchanging gifts, lighting Hanukkah menorahs, building gingerbread houses, and enjoying other seasonal festivities. The A Cappelicans filled Founders Chapel with song in their traditional holiday pajama concert on December 13.
The boys and girls varsity basketball and ice hockey teams will kick off the break by playing in holiday tournaments December 19–21.
Classes will resume on Tuesday, January 7, 2020.
Connect to a gallery of photos from Holidays on the Island 2019.