‘Blizzard bags’ are ‘snow’ joke at North Brunswick Township High School

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By JENNIFER AMATO
Staff Writer

NORTH BRUNSWICK — The word “blizzard” does not have such a negative connotation at North Brunswick Township High School (NBTHS).

Students of the American Red Cross club at the school recently donated 38 “blizzard bags” to Elijah’s Promise in New Brunswick.

Between Jan. 14-28, a variety of donations of travel-sized hygiene products and necessities were received from more than 30 club members. On Jan. 29, the club’s executive board had a meeting, and the blizzard bags were assembled, according to the club’s president, Cristina Torres.

In total, 38 bags were assembled, each containing a toothbrush, toothpaste, tissue pack, Q-tips, Band-Aids, alcohol rubbing pads, hand sanitizer, mouthwash, body wash and granola bars. Also, a box of extra supplies with feminine hygiene products and additional Q-tips and tissue packages were donated.

On Jan. 30, Torres dropped off the boxes to Elijah’s Promise.

“The American Red Cross students really enjoyed this project because every person brought in one single item, but in total, it amounted to a large quantity of donatable goods,” Torres said. “Elijah’s Promise is an organization that is well-known to NBTHS students because of its close proximity, and therefore the students were eager to help out [for] a familiar cause during the wintertime, which is when donations are most needed.

“Overall, it was a great experience for the entire club and has prompted the NBTHS American Red Cross to decide to create blizzard bags or donate meals on a regular basis.”

The students were lauded for their efforts, receiving a letter of gratitude from Kaitlynn Deal, volunteer and donation coordinator for Elijah’s Promise.

“Since 1989, Elijah’s Promise has harnessed the power of food to break the cycle of poverty, alleviate hunger and change lives for the most vulnerable members of our Central New Jersey community. We operate a community soup kitchen, culinary arts school, catering business and café, and connect low-income individuals and families with social and health services. With the support of volunteers, donors and community partners, we serve more than 200,000 meals per year and train previously unskilled workers for careers in the food services industry,” Deal wrote.

“We are extremely grateful for your support. … Thank you again for your generosity and donation, especially during these difficult economic times. We will work hard to ensure your gift makes a difference in our community.”

This particular project was part of North Brunswick’s Promise Campaign, which has set goals to spread awareness about hunger and raise money to support those in need through Elijah’s Promise. This campaign is supported North Brunswick Township High School’s D.E.C.A. (marketing/business) chapter and led by Torres and Athmika Vaseeharan.

Recent projects included creating 75 care packages consisting of towels and basic travel kit necessities through a partnership with the American Red Cross Club; holding a food drive at the high school; selling more than 100 bracelets with the logo “Food Changes Lives at a cost of $2 each; and hosting a “white out” at a boys basketball game on Jan. 28 to publicize the hunger-awareness movement.

For more information about the Promise Campaign, visit northbrunswickspromise.weebly.com.

Contact Jennifer Amato at jamato@gmnews.com.