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St. Ben’s concludes baby drive

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In the spirit of Catholic School week, St. Benedict’s School, St. Benedict’s Parish and Playhouse lent a hand to those in need, the women and children of Concourse House.

From Tuesday, January 19 on, fourth and fifth graders at St. Benedict’s collected monetary donations and baby supplies from the everyone at the school for Concourse House.

The partnership between Concourse House and the school began when Playhouse, a daycare program at St. Benedict’s, launched a holiday toy drive for the homeless shelter. Playhouse serves nearly 100 families.

“Myself along with the co-director, Therese Cojocaru, met the people of Concourse House last spring at a Bronx women’s leadership luncheon, which is what started all these drives,” Playhouse program director Bailey Provetto said.

For the holidays Playhouse and St. Benedict’s School fifth graders delivered more than 200 wrapped gifts to families at Concourse House, which houses women with children under the age of nine for six to nine months. Concourse House helps the women train for jobs and offers daycare on-site.

“We didn’t even realize it existed, but after we met they sent us brochures and explained how they help women,” Provetto said. “We thought it was an awesome program, but one thing they do need is a lot of donations, especially around Christmas time. We asked our families to bring in wrapped gifts.Then we decided to do a baby drive and the whole school and parish participat­ed.”

St. Benedict’s students were enthusiastic about the baby drive; they had to move boxes stuffed with donations to the school’s auditorium, fifth grade teacher Sylvia Siciliano said.

“Every day the kids went to other classrooms and collected whatever was sent in,” Siciliano said. “There was so much stuff the boxes didn’t fit in the classrooms. We do have very generous families and a very generous parish.”

The donations reached Concourse House on Thursday, February 4.

Reach reporter Amanda Marinaccio at 718 742-3394 or amarinaccio@cnglocal.com

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