CEA members, students and their families, and community members around Connecticut have done a lot to ensure students in need will have a brighter holiday this year.
“I just can’t thank everyone enough who supported the Holiday Bear Project this year,” says CEA Vice President and Connecticut Education Foundation President Joslyn DeLancey. “During a really hard time, it’s allowed us to have some joy and celebrate the holidays.”
Thanks to the organizational efforts of Westport Education Association Co-President Stacey Delmhorst and the generosity of her colleagues and the community, Westport was one of the towns able to sponsor the most children this year.
“It’s been an amazing project for Westport teachers,” says DeLancey. “Not only did it allow for them to collaborate with one another, it also allowed for them to work with their students, the PTA—it was truly a community effort.”
“We’ve been involved with the Holiday Bear Project now for the last five or six years,” says Delmhorst. “Initially people didn’t know what it was all about, but word has spread. I remember thinking—if one student and their family can go out and buy a couple of gifts, what a whole classroom of kids would be able to do would be huge. I knew we could fill everything on a child’s wish list if a whole classroom was working together.”
She continues, “This community is generous to a fault. We put out a call like this and it just comes pouring in. I’m so glad that I work in a community where we’re able to do this for other communities right down the road. It means a lot to me, and every year I’m just more overwhelmed by what we’ve been able to accomplish.”
DeLancey joined Delmhorst and her students as they packed up Holiday Bear donations last week. Watch the video below.