School hosts toiletry drive for the INN

Caroline G. Atkinson Intermediate School gives back to the community


Fifth grade students at Caroline G. Atkinson Intermediate School have shown their commitment to promoting a culture of peace and caring in their district by hosting a toiletry drive for the Interfaith Nutrition Network, INN located in Hempstead.

Jennifer Ferrarelli and Jacqueline Rodriguez’s classes led the initiative, which ran throughout January. The students collected a range of toiletries, including baby wipes, diapers, infant formula, shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste, from students, staff and administrators at Atkinson.

On the final day of the drive on Jan. 31, the two classes gathered in the school’s cafeteria to sort the items and create over 100 individual bags for those in need. The students also wrote motivational notes to include in each of the bags. The bags of toiletries were then donated to the INN, which provides essential services to assist those challenged by hunger, homelessness, and poverty.

“Toiletries are essential items for the guests that we serve and we’re always grateful to receive them,” INN spokeswoman Dana Lopez said.

“But we’re especially grateful when students take the time out of their busy schedules and to understand how important it is to give back so we’re just so grateful to receive the items and they will go to good use immediately.”

The Interfaith Nutrition Network was founded in 1983 as a single soup kitchen run by volunteers, who realized that many people on Long Island were hungry and in need.

The success of the Hempstead soup kitchen led to the creation of an interfaith network of soup kitchens that now provides a range of services to the community, including emergency shelters, long-term housing programs, and free clothing boutiques.

The INN has grown to become the largest private social service agency of its kind on Long Island and remains committed to treating anyone and everyone.

The Freeport Public Schools district-wide culture of peace and caring has been nurtured over the years, and this latest contribution by the fifth-grade students at Caroline G. Atkinson Intermediate School is a testament to its success.