PATERSON, NJ-  Student’s at Paterson’s Edward W. Kilpatrick School will be warmer this winter thanks to a special delivery from Santa Claus. The man in red, along with several elves, who double as members of the Paterson Rotary Club, the city’s oldest service organization, delivered 380 new winter jackets, and plenty of good cheer, to the excited children on Monday.

“You are bringing a lot of joy to our children,” Derrick Hoff, the school’s principal told the volunteers. “That’s what Christmas is about.”

According to Rotary officials this is the eighth year they’ve provided jackets to Paterson children, a tradition born out of stories they heard of students arriving to school, despite frigid temperatures, in t-shirts.

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“We want every child to have a warm winter,” Claire Salviano, the club’s president told TAPinto Paterson adding that the effort is part of their greater mission of making an impact in the community. While club members buy and and donate the jackets, it’s the opportunity to give that’s really important Salviano continued referring to the event as a “Christmas gift to us.”

Amidst hugs and high fives Santa spent time with each of the preschool children in the cafeteria where teachers and other helpers, including Superintendent Eileen Shafer and Board of Education President Oshin Castillo, helped children try on the new coats that were purchased from Jackie’s Kids on Main Street.

Expressing her appreciation for the generosity, and offering a reminder of the adage that “it takes a village,” Castillo added “it’s not just about the coats.”

“The laughing, the hugs, the conversations, that’s what (the students) will remember.”

 

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