Season of Giving: December Drives
Season of Giving: December Drives

This year's "Season of Giving" began with our very successful Thanksgiving Drives, and we thank all of you who generously donated to them. Each division collected an impressive amount of food and donations. Here are the totals from each division.

Lower School: 186 turkeys and baskets of food
Middle School: 97 Ralph's Gift Cards and 211 bags of food
Upper School: $6,000 raised for turkeys and Thanksgiving meals.

December brings new opportunities for Brentwood School students, parents, faculty, and staff to reach out and impact the greater community with dedicated and purposeful giving.

Below, our Service Learning Directors describe what each division is doing to make the holidays brighter for those in need. Please join us in the following projects in whatever way is possible for your family:

Lisa Glick (

The Lower School is collecting NEW, unwrapped toys for our Toy Drive, from December 3-20. On any given day during the drive you will find groups of students huddled in front of the toys. Our students are genuinely excited to watch the pile grow throughout the drive.

Please remind your child that a great toy does not need to be expensive. If your child is excited about a toy they have chosen, another child will enjoy it, too. The toys we collect will be donated to organizations in Los Angeles that serve low-income families including One Voice, No Limits, MEND, the VA, and Baby2Baby. The toys must be new and unwrapped. Often, this is the only present a child will receive. Organizations are most in need of toys for 8- to 13-year-olds.

Kristen Letchworth (

Strengthening our relationships with One Voice L.A. and Para Los Niños, we will again be partnering with these organizations this month for our Holiday Gift Drive.

Representatives from One Voice L.A. and Para Los Niños joined our Middle School Assembly on Tuesday to share about the organizations and the families they serve. Kathy and Sharmon, from One Voice L.A., explained how the organization was founded more than 30 years ago and why the value of community is paramount to the future of the organization and of the world. From Para Los Niños, Celeste described the families that benefit from the services they offer, defined poverty in our city, and highlighted the importance of giving back.

Each Advisory received a family profile from One Voice L.A. for 7th Graders and from Para Los Niños for 8th Graders. In addition to the family profiles, Advisories received holiday wish lists provided by social workers who interviewed the families. From toothbrushes and shampoo to mattresses and T.V.s, the wish lists vary from everyday, smaller items to more specialized, larger items. We encourage every Brentwood student to contribute in some manner whether the contribution is one that requires monetary resources or one that requires time and patience, such as a handmade card or drawing. Giving comes in many forms.

We have discussed that participation is voluntary, but it is important that the items be new. While gently used items can be donated, please know that we will not wrap them as gifts.

All gifts and donations for the Holiday Gift Drive are due before school on Friday, December 14. Students and faculty, along with parent/guardian volunteers, will work together to wrap the items in a festive gathering that afternoon. If you are able to donate gift wrap, tissue paper, large gift bags, gift tag stickers, ribbons, or tape, please bring them to the Middle School Office by Monday, December 10.

Thank you for your unwavering support, and Happy Holidays!

Cat Zusky (

In December, we will again partner with Project New Hope and the Westwood Transitional Village for our Adopt-a-Child Holiday Drive. Students in their advisory groups have been invited to provide gifts for children at Project New Hope. Student members of our Service Clubs on campus, including Interact, Build On, Educational Outreach, No Limits for Deaf and Disabled Children, and more, are sponsoring children at the Westwood Transitional Village.

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