In alignment with King School’s commitment to community, King is collaborating with Darien-based nonprofit Person to Person this holiday season. The relationship is not new, but with each year, it grows more plentiful.
King recently hosted the most successful food drive to date, donating 5,814 pounds of food to the Person to Person pantry. In the upcoming week, the Varsity Hockey team will host its Person to Person Teddy Bear Toss at the December 8 game against Greenwich Country Day School at the Stamford Twin Rinks.
The event is part of the school's toy drive, which begins on December 1 and culminates with a toss of stuffed animals onto the ice next Wednesday. The stuffed animals will be collected at each division and packaged for the Person to Person Holiday Toy Store.
"The Teddy Bear Toss is a great event for the Holiday Toy Store while also celebrating the King community," said Sasha Intile '23, who heads the Junior Committee at Person to Person. "This is a special event that provides families, who are otherwise unable to purchase toys for their children, with something that their child can unwrap and enjoy on Christmas."
The Middle School decorated 200 gift bags for the campaign, expanding on King's past contributions to the Toy Store.
"These bags not only add a special touch, but they also provide the families with the idea that people are looking out for them and will support them through difficult times," Sasha continued. "We encourage everyone at King to bring a teddy bear to the Teddy Bear Toss next week!"
The toy drive rides the momentum of the recent food drive. All three divisions participated in the food drive before Thanksgiving. Everyone pitched in from PA King Cares to student leaders and their peers, sports teams and coaches, and faculty and staff.
Together, for several weeks and countless hours, they prepared collection bags with informative flyers, made a motivational video promoting the drive, and managed delivery stations throughout campus. Once the food was collected, they sorted and loaded trucks with the donation.
"My experience was wonderful," said Wendy Kleinman, a parent coordinator for the PA King Cares. It was Kleinman's first year volunteering and the experience resonated. "I was very impressed by how much food was donated and the excitement of the children participating, from the Lower School sorting to the Middle and Upper School students loading the trucks. Parents were quick to sign up and volunteer to help, too."
The volunteer work continued once the food left King. The hockey team met the delivery trucks at Person to Person's warehouse and unloaded, weighed, and organized the delivery onto the warehouse shelves.
"It was a really great experience for the whole team to be able to go to Person to Person and sort food before the Thanksgiving break," said junior John Freeman, who also serves as an alternate captain on the Varsity Hockey team and King Cares liaison for Person to Person.
Though the hockey team has held the Teddy Bear Toss for several years, this year is the first year the team assisted with the food drive delivery.
"We all got a lot closer as a team, and we all felt good knowing that families from the community would be able to have food for the holidays because of the work we did," said John.
Person to Person is dedicated to providing essential resources to help people in lower Fairfield County overcome daily challenges and put them on a path toward economic stability. The agency offers food, clothing, a support team, and educational opportunities to more than 28,000 people.
"The food drive was a wonderful community event in partnership with Person to Person," said Karen Raidt, Director of King Cares Service and Student Services. "Once we finished all of the calculating, everyone was very excited to hear that we surpassed last year's November food drive."
To participate in the Teddy Bear Toss, bring a stuffed animal (new, with tags) to King School from December 1 to 8, and place it in any of the bins located in the Upper School, Middle School, and Lower School. Participants are encouraged to also bring stuffed animals to the game to throw on the ice at the Stamford Twin Rinks on Wednesday, December 8, at 4:30 p.m.