NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. – “Buy stuff you’d like,’’ Northbridge High School art teacher Jen Ferrari told a group of teens Wednesday as they trooped into Walmart.
And with about $270 to spend, their shopping cart quickly filled with things like movie and music CDs, iTune gift cards, ear buds, saucer sleds and fluorescent stars to decorate ceilings.
The kids, all members of Northbridge High School's National Art Honor Society, weren’t shopping for themselves. From checkout, every item went directly into a “Toys for Kids and Teens” collection box.
A toy drive is conducted each year by Blackstone Valley Detachment 911 of the Marine Corps League, and each year its members worry about what they’ll have for teens. Much of what is donated is geared toward younger children.
So the students looked for gifts they’d like to see under their own trees.
The National Art Honor Society is an after-school group with membership based on artistic and academic scholarship, Ferrari explained.
Students raised the $270 by making and selling cookies. They made the cookies themselves at the high school one Friday afternoon. The cookies were in the shape of flowers with Life Savers baked in the middle.
Placed on sticks and separated into groups of 10, the result was “cookie bouquets’’ which they sold at the high school and in the community, said art teacher Jennifer Mulkerrin.
A Walmart shopper behind the students at checkout was so impressed with their efforts she gave them $21, which sent them back into the store for additional shopping.
Marines will continue collecting and distributing toys until Christmas Eve. Donations may be placed in collection boxes scattered through communities in the Blackstone Valley or brought to the collection and distribution center at 111 S. Main St., Uxbridge.
Parents or grandparents who need help with Christmas may drop into the distribution center to shop. The only requirement is that the family live in the Blackstone Valley.