BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - For nearly 20 years, students and staff at Thomas P. Hughes Elementary School in Berkeley Heights have been helping to make the holidays happier for others with a holiday gift drive through their partnership with Cherished Creations.

Each year, participants select a bear from the 'bear board' and buy the gift that is indicated on the back to fulfill a child's holiday wish. This initiative is one of the most anticipated events at Hughes and is just one of the ways that students have shown their commitment to Cherished Creations.

According to Hughes Principal, Jessica Nardi, "Every year, the board goes up and the excitement among the students can be felt! They get permission from their parents and come in and select a bear so that they can make another child's holiday wish come true. It is truly one of the most wonderful initiatives we do here at Hughes and it teaches the children about giving at this joyous time of year."

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The commitment to Cherished Creations by Hughes School doesn't stop with holiday gift giving. Each year in the spring, a fourth grade walk-a-thon to raise money for the charity is held. Anticipated through a students time at Hughes with great excitement, until they reach the fourth grade, this event encourages students to raise funds for Cherished Creations and culminates in a 'grade-wide guided walk' through Berkeley Heights by the fourth grade students and staff. Over the years students have raised over $100,000 for the charity during this amazing event.  

Cherished Creations is a local non-profit organization committed to improving the lives of children with serious illnesses, as well as those with families that struggle financially.