Students Coordinate Charitable Drives During Holiday Season

Student Council Vice President Shreya Chellu poses with USCRI Development Associate Graham Ball and the 2080 items collected.
Student Council Vice President Shreya Chellu poses with USCRI Development Associate Graham Ball and the 2080 items collected.
Neha Chellu

Beachwood students oversaw numerous drives this fall, each supporting a unique cause and encouraging classmates to give back to the community. 

The Class of 2026 ran a sock drive, dubbed Socktober, from Oct. 19 to Oct. 31. 

“[The goal was to] collect clean, unused socks [to donate to] homeless [people] in Cleveland,” explained Class President Tony Zheng. 

Socks are a universal item that most shelters are frequently in need of. The students collected 2,366 pairs of socks – five times more socks than what was originally expected. 

The socks were donated to Bellefaire JCB to be distributed through their programs. As an incentive for this quick donation drive, many BHS teachers offered extra credit to students, which was perfect for those looking to raise grades before the end of the first quarter.

The class of 2026 collected 2,366 pairs of socks for Bellefaire.

The Student Council Executive Board ran a hygiene drive for refugees and immigrants, organized by Executive Board Vice President Shreya Chellu.

Student Council collected personal care items such as tissues, towels, soaps, shampoos, toothpastes, toothbrushes, conditioners, hairbrushes, lotions and paper towels. Donations were donated to the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), a non-profit dedicated to aiding newly-arrived refugees and immigrants in the Cleveland area. 

Donations were accepted from Oct. 30 through Dec. 22. Supplies were collected at locations throughout BHS as well as BMS, the Beachwood library, South Euclid library and the Beachwood Community Center, according to Chellu.

“We hope to give back to the community, especially as such a diverse school district and because community service is really important for students,” said sophomore Executive Board Secretary Lyndia Zheng.  

Some teachers also provided  an extra credit incentive to students who donated. This is the second year that Student Council has organized a hygiene drive.

“We had [more than] 2,080 items donated, which is almost three times more than last year. The estimated monetary value of this was $4,545,” Chellu said.

Chellu added that they still have one more box to sort and deliver.

Student council collected 2,080 hygiene items for the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants with an estimated monetary value of  $4,545 .

Another donation drive that occurred was the Beachwood-wide pajama drive from Sweet Dreams for Kids, a non-profit started by senior student Dalya Berezovsky’s family. 

The purpose of collecting these pajamas is to send them to hospitals for kids with serious medical conditions.

 “[We hope to] bring smiles and happiness and a piece of home to kids that have to be in the hospital,” Berezovsky said.

This pajama drive was held from the beginning of October and lasted until Thanksgiving in the schools and will continue all year round. To extend this drive to the rest of the district, Berezovsky visited  Bryden Elementary School along with the Bison Buddies club. The kids were dressed in their pajamas and the high schoolers read picture books to the classes in support of the cause.

“All together between all the Beachwood schools it was 140 [pairs collected],” Berezovsky said.

Beachwood Schools collected 140 pairs of pajamas for Olivia’s Dream.

One more drive that was held during the holiday season was Olivia’s Dream Toy Drive, which was introduced to the school by freshman class treasurer, Maria Harris. 

The freshman and junior classes worked jointly to run this drive.

Olivia’s Dream is an annual toy drive collecting toys. A young girl named Olivia perished in a fire in 2018 at the age of eight, and it was her dream to give toys to kids in need, so the drive was created to fulfill her wish,” said freshman class Vice President Nimisha Kasliwal. 

The goal of the drive was to support children and families going through traumatic events. This is a district-wide drive collecting toys for this specific purpose, held between the dates of Nov. 17 and Dec.  14 with boxes in all schools, as well as the Beachwood library branch.

The high school also held  a teachers versus students volleyball game and raffle on Dec.  15th to gain student support for Olivia’s Dream Toy Drive. To participate, each student was required to donate toys to support the drive, and the winner received a gift card.

At publication, results from the Olivia’s Dream toy drive are not yet available.

Only half the school year has gone by and there are more drives coming up. One drive coming in April is the high school library’s annual book drive which has been very successful every year.

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