Gent wraps up Christmas toy drive

Adrienne Gent’s language arts classes concluded a competition Friday to gather toys for children in local hospitals during the holiday season.  The toy drive began Dec. 2.  The toys will be distributed to Holmes Regional Hospital and Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital.  

What started as a request from West Shore parents Carl and Tammy Saladino grew into a friendly competition among Gent’s ninth- and 10th-graders.

“I hadn’t thought of doing a toy drive this year, but once Mrs. Saladino asked if I would help sponsor one, I was totally on board,” Gent said. “But when I found out that NHS and Kyle Caudill also were doing holiday toy drives, I didn’t want to take away from their efforts so I just limited the toy drive to my students.”

To motivate participation, Gent offered a free homework pass that could be used to substitute a low grade or take the place of an assignment.

“I collect so many grades, I thought giving up one grade for a good community service project was worth it,” Gent said

Freshman Tommy Unger brought in more $200 worth of toys to donate.

“I thought it was a good cause,” he said. “If kids are stuck in the hospital on Christmas, getting good quality gifts would make them happier. Research shows that being happy is part of the healing process.  To help them be happy on Christmas will hopefully help them feel better and have a good holiday.”

By Collin Robidoux