BERNARDS TWP., NJ - The eighth grade students of the William Annin Middle School in Basking Ridge hosted their first annual “Day Of Giving" on Friday, Dec. 16, an event that was so successful that it is expected to be repeated in future school years.

At Monday's school board meeting, Bernards Schools Superintendent Nick Markarian and other school officials lauded the "Day of Giving" as one of the school district's "uplifting" events at this time of year.

The purpose of the "Day of Giving" was to expose the school's eighth graders to learning about the many needs that exist within the surrounding community. The students also had a chance to learn about various volunteer opportunities to help fill those needs.   

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For two weeks prior to the big event, homerooms collected items specific items for area charities.  

The first two periods of the Day of Giving were spent sorting, organizing, and boxing the collected items. Almost 400 articles of clothing were collected for the Market Street Mission in Morristown, and close to 200 toiletry bags were filled to share between the Market Street Mission and the Veteran’s Hospital in Lyons. More than 400 books were collected for the Room to Read organization.

Market Street Mission speakers shared personal stories of experiences from their organization so students were able to get a firsthand look at who their donations are helping. Students then got to visit with speakers from six different service organizations before finishing up the day writing holiday cards to patients at Goryeb Children's Hospital and talking with the 22 organizations that gathered in the gym for a “Volunteer Fair.”

An event expected to be on the WAMS calendar 'for years to come'

The positive feedback from both students and participants will ensure that this is a day that will be blocked in on WAMS calendars for years to come.