Since 2004, Danella Companies has worked to make inner city Philadelphia children’s holidays a little brighter.
Again this year, Danella employees visited two Philadelphia schools; LaSalle Academy in North Philadelphia and John H. Webster Elementary School in the Kensington neighborhood. The work completed at these schools helps bring precious memories to over 600 children in need and is only possible with generous donations from our supporters, vendors, friends, and employees through the Danella Christmas Project. Below is a recap of Danella’s work in our local Philadelphia community.
On December 19, 2017, Santa and the Danella “Elves” headed to LaSalle Academy. Welcomed by the students in grades three through eight, Santa and the elves spent the morning handing out new gym uniforms, along with a stocking full of snacks. Each grade also received either winter coats, sweaters, fleece jackets, or sweatshirts for the winter months. The eighth graders were also surprised with the announcement of a trip to Broadway to see “Wicked,” which Jim and Mary Jo Danella sponsor.
During Danella’s visit, the elves and Santa were treated to a short assembly including skits and music from the third, fourth, and fifth graders. These children are grateful for not only the work that Danella does throughout the year but also to attend such a caring and nurturing school. Many of the students go on to Catholic high schools in the Philadelphia area and remember the many gifts they receive from benefactors like Danella.
Two days after Danella’s visit to LaSalle, Santa and the elves visited John H. Webster Elementary School on December 21. Many of the students do not have much at home, and often their gifts received from the Christmas Project are their only ones under the tree.
All classrooms of the kindergarteners, first graders, second graders, and children with special needs received a visit from Santa. Both the kindergarten and first grade received stockings of snacks, backpacks with reading, learning, and coloring materials, hats and gloves, and a stuffed bear. In addition, each kindergarten student also received a board game, and the first graders received a personalized gift from Santa. First graders wrote a letter to Santa requesting gifts ranging from dolls to remote control cars, which Danella employees at the Corporate Headquarters in Plymouth Meeting, PA, generously donated. The Second Graders also received new chapter reading books, like A to Z Mysteries.
Danella continues to support these schools throughout the year through various supply drives and gift cards to help make a positive and successful learning experience possible for these children.
Thank you to everyone who contributed once again to the success of the Danella Christmas Project. All this is not possible without you. To the many volunteers that helped gift wrap and organize, thank you. Special thank you to the students of Central Montco Technical School in Plymouth Meeting, for helping to finalize the gifts for Santa to deliver. A big thank you goes to those that organize the project, spend countless hours shopping, and wrapping gifts each year: Cheryl Guffey, Hannah Guffey, Andrea Wentzell, and Robin Bender.