On Thursday, December 3, students of Sparta High School’s clubs, Pass It Along and Student Council, came together to help assemble backpacks for Tilly’s Kids.

Tilly’s Kids is a group that supports underprivileged kids, run by Pastor Tilly Giresi, in Newark, New Jersey. They help kids experience things they may not get in their own homes, including food, clothing, school supplies and companionship.

After receiving a large donation of school supplies from Target, the executive team leader, Nicholas Arcuri, a resident of Sparta, the Class of 2017 student council leaders got together with Pass It Along to stuff backpacks with school supplies to be delivered in the upcoming week to Tilly’s Kids. The junior class student council ordered 250 backpacks to be filled. These backpacks were stuffed with a t-shirt from Sparta High School, school supplies and a note for the children.

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Because of the generous donation of school supplies given by Target, the leftover were delivered to the elementary school in Sparta and be raffled for the teachers to raise additional funds for Tilly’s Kids. The large operations were overseen by Guidance Counselor Timothy Librizzi, and Media Center Specialist Angela DeLuccia.

Thanks to the large number of students from both groups, the project was completed in one lunch period. The supplies are ready to be delivered to Reverend Tilly’s Admission in Newark. The high school students were very excited about the delivery and say they wait to hear about the children’s reactions from Pastor Tilly. 

For some, Tilly’s Kids is a special group. Lenny Fontes, who has been a member of Pass It Along for four year and is currently a Youth Leader and Officer in Pass It Along shared the “Tilly’s Kids program is a great opportunity to connect with someone who needs a friend and mentor to connect with.”

Additionally, Brendan Puszcz, President of the Junior Class student council said “Pairing up with Pass It Along has proven to be a great opportunity to help those who are less fortunate and I look forward to working with them again to support kids that are less privileged.”

The club members all enjoyed giving their time to this important cause, a special thanks goes to those who volunteered including:

  • Kate Nash,
  • Kristen Smith,
  • Brent Bloomgren,
  • Michaela Bleakly,
  • Jason Rotondi,
  • Gina LaPilusa,
  • Liam Armstrong,
  • Matt Guerra,
  • Jacob Sedar,
  • Will McKenna,
  • Lenny Fontes,
  • Brendan Puszcz,
  • Connor Dick,
  • Lia Gaccione,
  • Jackie Dowd,
  • Marin Sheridan,
  • Emily Sigillo,
  • Emma Rennie,
  • Rebecca Greenberg,
  • Kate Fontes,
  • Bayleigh Takacs,
  • ess Phillips,
  • Grace Becker,
  • Marcelina Meler,
  • Ben Curras,
  • Abby Pinero,
  • Maggie Rowan,
  • Rachael Schmidt,
  • Jillian Henderson,
  • Claire Vreeland.

Editors Note: Not all students are listed due to school confidentiality.