A total of 386 students and more than 100 staff members received gifts.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A miracle happened at Morningside Community School last year.
Well, at least that is what it seemed like to the students and staff. The Berkshire Dream Center "adopted" the school for Christmas and collected gifts for every single student and staff member and delivered them the final day before the Christmas break.
"The students and the faculty named it the miracle at Morningside. We learned from talking to the teachers that this is something they dreamed of and never thought was possible," Executive Director Katelynn Miner said.
"From having such a positive experience last year and knowing that it is truly impacting the kids, seeing that firsthand, there was no way we can't do it again."
One year to the date later, the Dream Center was back at the school with totes filled with presents. The Dream Center collected donations again and now 386 students and some 100 staff members had Christmas presents delivered to the classroom.
"The community just came together this year from police departments to residents to businesses to city councilors and the city itself to make this possible," Miner said.
This year the program is even better. Miner said the nonprofit had learned more about the children's likes and dislikes so the gift suggestions matched closer to what the children want. Each gift ranges in price from $15 to $25 and were carefully sorted to make sure no student was getting more or less than another.
"We found the gifts that were donated were a lot bigger and people were asking us some gift suggestions. So from learning last year what the kids enjoyed receiving, we are now able to better tailor those gift ideas," Miner said.
She later added, "reach classroom was carefully packed so the gifts are comparable and pretty similar. So all the kids, when they open them and see what others receive they are happy and there are no hurt feelings."
Some 50 volunteers had been part of the project this year. Miner is hoping other community organizations follow the Dream Center's lead and adopt other schools and the group is looking to adopt a second school themselves, this time in North Adams.
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