Howard Beach’s P.S./M.S. 207 is getting into the spirit of giving this holiday season.
Marine Corps Sergeants Mike Roy and Miguel Villalobos brought the Toys for Tots donation program to the 88th Street school on Friday.
“A lot of [kids] don’t even know about the program,” Villalobos said. “Doing a little outreach opens their minds.”
In conjunction with the Marine Corps and the Howard Beach Kiwanis Club, P.S. 207 will be collecting toys under its Christmas tree until Wednesday, December 18.
“This community was so devastated after Sandy. They [the students] know what it’s like to lose everything,” said Melissa Martin, P.S. 207 guidance counselor. “Yes, we have come back and rebuilt, but so many people haven’t.”
The sergeants not only brought the toy-giving program to the school, but also addressed the monthly virtue of kindness.
“If you have a lot to give, don’t be afraid to give to someone who doesn’t have anything,” Villalobos said. “They’re going to go from having nothing to just having that coat, that Barbie.”
Each month, a select group of eight middle school students are recognized for enacting the month’s virtue. At the Marine Corps assembly, 6th through 8th graders were selected for showing November’s virtue, perseverance.
Jonathan Durso, a 7th grader, said he “studied hard” and did his best, and was recognized for his achievements.
“I tried my best with grades and homework, and I made sure I got everything in on time,” said Alessia Basone, also a 7th grade winner.
Martin said the virtues “teach kids character development,” and the newly-introduced theme of kindness, paired with Toys for Tots, is intended to promote giving to those less fortunate.
“It starts them off early with the idea that it’s good to give,” Roy said.