Throughout my career as an educator, I have taught in countries, schools, and communities of varying economic conditions. Often, as I drove to and from work in some of these communities, I would reflect on how difficult it must be for some families to provide for their children’s basic needs and to make ends meet. But during the holiday season, it was always amazing to see those who were more fortunate unite to make the season merrier for those families.
It is times like the holiday season, I think, that empower the humanity in all of us. These are moments in which our Lancaster community shines its brightest. Through annual holiday food, clothing, and toy drives and distributions, those who have the means of time, the resources, or simply the compassion for others, are able to work together for the greater good and magical opportunities start to happen.
This is truly exemplified in the outpouring of generosity that circulates through our community during the holiday season. It is a thing of wonder to visit the Lancaster Youth Bureau on holiday gift distribution day. Scores of students, school district employees, and community volunteers sort through thousands of donations to provide local families with food items, books, scarves, hats and mittens, gift cards, toys, live Christmas trees with decorations, and more. It’s sometimes difficult to discern who is more thankful, the volunteers for the opportunity to give or the families of the community who are the recipients of such generosity. The experience is truly an all-around joy to witness.
Throughout each year, I am amazed by the extent to which our students and community partners go above and beyond to give to and help others. From volunteering at local organizations, hosting fundraising events to benefit local causes, organizing various collections, and many other efforts, our students are learning first-hand the importance of community service and the pleasure of helping others.
I hope you had the opportunity to experience one of our many holiday concerts, with scores of vocalists and musicians performing not only in our buildings, but throughout the town and village in nursing homes and other facilities, spreading holiday cheer. This is just another fine example of school and community coming together in joyous harmony!
I am so proud to be working for a community that truly cares about all of its children and works so hard to take care of one another. From my family to yours, and from our Lancaster school family to yours, I would like to thank everyone who works so diligently to make the holidays brighter for everyone. To one and all a joyous holiday season and prosperous new year!
AOF graduates to gain preferred hiring status
Named NYSPHSAA Scholar Athlete State Champions