BETHLEHEM—On Tuesday, Dec. 6, bus drivers, attendants, mechanics and other staff from Bethlehem Central School District’s Transportation Department kicked off the holiday season with an annual buffet brunch. During the festive potluck event, veteran bus drivers Amy Hunter and Danika Raup auctioned off 13 original hand-made holiday centerpieces they spent hours, and their own money, designing and assembling to raise funds for the district’s ‘Holiday Caring and Sharing Drive.’ The program provides assistance to families in need ahead of the district’s winter break.
“I remember growing up, when my family was going through some hard times, we were ‘adopted’ at the holidays,” said Hunter. “I guess I see this as a way to pay it forward.”
For the second year, Hunter and Raup worked together, donating their time and materials to create beautiful handcrafted items their coworkers would want to bid on—and said they hope to expand their efforts next year.
“We looked for resources where we could,” said Raup. “My mother has a farm in Coeymans Hollow and we walked her property gathering greens that could we could use in some of the designs.”
“There were some late nights, as late as 2 a.m. on Saturday, but we got it done,” said Hunter.
At last count, the department had collected $640 from the auction and through donations to help needy district families. Funds are still being collected.
Are you a family in need of assistance?
If you are a family who has received assistance through the Holiday Caring and Sharing Drive in the past or if you are a family needing help this year, please contact your child’s principal or school nurse now through Friday, December 9. (Also, if you know of a district family who could benefit from this effort, please share this information.)
* Eagle Elementary – Stacie Decker, School Nurse: 694-3953
* Elsmere Elementary – Linda Jean Isenberg, School Nurse: 439-3019
* Glenmont Elementary – Mary Ellen Fusco, School Nurse: 439-4929
* Hamagrael Elementary – Monica Vail, School Nurse: 439-8889
* Slingerlands Elementary – Heather Machabee, School Nurse: 439-8984
* BCMS – JoAnn Menrath, Laura Collier & Mary Ann Bruno, School Nurse: 439-7705
* BCHS – Beth Callahan & Annemarie Marsh, School Nurse: 439-4921
The district is also working to make additional assistance available throughout the school year with support from our generous community sponsors.
Want to contribute to the Holiday Caring and Sharing Drive? Contact the district’s Special Education and Student Services (SESS) office at (518) 439-8886.