Even within the walls of Providence Academy, it is no secret that Spring is on its way. From Upper School students working hard to complete assignments before Spring Break to newly energized Lower Schoolers enjoying recess outside, all are excited that Spring is near. With Spring comes the promise of new life, Easter, and PA’s annual Basket Drive for Sharing and Caring Hands. 

Many in the PA community are familiar with the local faith-based organization, founded by Mary Jo Copeland in 1985, that strives to help families in need.  As the website states, “Sharing and Caring Hands provides [help] with dignity, while affirming God’s love for all his people regardless of their circumstances.”

Founder of Sharing and Caring Hands, Mary Jo Copeland (PAW Photo courtesy of Sharing & Caring Hands website)

Providence wants to help fulfill their mission and ensure that every child, no matter their family’s financial situation, is able to celebrate Easter. 

One donor, Emma Boeing ‘22, reflected, “As a kid, you always look forward to holidays. Each and every kid should feel that same joy and celebration leading up to Easter.”

Typically, the Lower School leads this event as a weekend activity for families, but due to COVID restrictions and health concerns, this was not possible. Knowing how much Sharing and Caring Hands appreciates the baskets, however, Lower School Director Mrs. Nancy Galgano did not want to skip the event altogether.  

Emma Boeing ’22 in action as she places her donations for the drive in the collection box.

Galgano shared, “At Providence Academy, we are very blessed and we have a responsibility to share our blessings with others.”

She continued, “We have been very consistent with Sharing and Caring Hands in previous years and we wanted to support them this year, despite the circumstances. I was thrilled when PACMAN stepped up to take on the event.”

PACMAN is an Upper School student-led volunteer organization.  Typically, the clubs travels to other locations to volunteer, but this year, opportunities to do so have been limited due to safety precautions.

PACMAN Advisor Ms. Anne McCulloch said, “This year has been a different year for everyone. I think PACMAN has adjusted well and has done a great job holding service events that are accessible to students and are also enjoyable, while still benefiting others within the community.”

PACMAN posters hang around the school, advertising for donations to the Easter Basket Drive.

Club co-leader Gianna Hippler ‘21 added, “I am glad that we were able to take over the event this year. I think this year especially, COVID has impacted people in many different ways and children may not be able to enjoy Easter due to financial situations. By creating baskets, we can spread a little happiness and make it possible for a child to have a great Easter that they may not have been able to have.”

There is still time for Upper Schoolers to contribute to the basket drive! Students can bring joy to a child’s Easter morning by donating items such as–but not limited to–candy, small art projects, stuffed animals, books, and coloring supplies.  Items will be accepted through the end of the day Wednesday

Upper Schoolers are asked to bring the items to their House location to be counted for House points, a prized possession among Upper School students, as the House with the most points at the end of the year gets many bragging rights, along with a House Feast. Upper Schoolers, the competition is ON!