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Monday, May 27, 2024

Record Number of Area Schools Collected Toys in Friendly Competition

Stuff the Stocking Benefited the Season of Hope Toy Drive

Newton, NJ (December 19, 2022) – Students from a record-breaking 45 schools in Sussex and Northern Warren Counties spent the last few weeks of 2022 collecting more than 7,000 new, unwrapped toys in a friendly Stuff the Stocking competition to benefit Project Self-Sufficiency’s Season of Hope Toy Drive.  Each year, the winning school takes home the coveted Stuff the Stocking trophy, along with a monetary donation to their school’s activity fund.  Second and third place winners also receive monetary donations for their schools.  Reverend George A. Brown Memorial School was the victor in the 2022 contest, with more than 1,000 toys collected.  Returning champion Pope John XXIII Middle School took second place, with North Warren Regional High School coming in third.  Additional honors went to Longest Running Stocking Stuffer Hilltop Country Day School, Most Consistent Stocking Stuffer Hardyston School District, and Most Spirited Stocking Stuffer Green Hills School.  Rookie Stocking Stuffer of the Year went to first-time participant Brass Castle Elementary School.  Local schools which collected more than 100 toys included Allamuchy Township School, Brass Castle Elementary School, Cedar Mountain Primary School, Florence Burd Elementary School, Green Hills School, Hardyston School District, High Point Regional High School, Hilltop Country Day School, Knowlton Elementary School, Lenape Valley Regional High School, Mendham Township Elementary School, Newton High School, North Warren Regional Middle School and High School, Pope John XXIII High School, Pope John XXIII Middle School, Reverend George A. Brown Memorial Elementary School, Sandyston-Walpack Elementary School, Sussex Christian School, Sussex Technical School, and Warren Hills Regional High School.

Students from Pope John XXIII Middle School and the Stuff the Stocking trophy.

Project Self-Sufficiency’s Season of Hope Toy Drive gathers new, unwrapped toys and gift cards for Sussex and Northern Warren County children and teens.  In 2022, more than 2,200 children and teens received new gifts from the Season of Hope Toy Shop.

Students from North Warren Regional High School with the Stuff the Stocking trophy.

“The holidays can be a challenging time for many families in our area and the current economic situation has placed even more stress on many parents and caregivers,” commented Deborah Berry-Toon, Executive Director of Project Self-Sufficiency.  “The overwhelming response by these students demonstrates to the families served by Season of Hope Toy Shop that the community cares about them.  Having children select toys for other children is a special way to celebrate the true meaning of the holiday season.  Whether a school gathered less than 50 toys or more than 500, we are grateful to each student and school which participated and helped to make the 2022 effort the most successful Stuff the Stocking contest to date.”

Additional schools which participated in the Stuff the Stocking contest included Alpine Montessori, Blair Academy, Byram Intermediate School, Byram Lakes Elementary School, Cedar Mountain, Central Elementary School, Franklin Elementary School, Fredon Elementary School, Frelinghuysen Elementary School, Glen Meadow Middle School, Goddard School, Halsted Middle School, Kiddie Academy, Kittatinny Regional Middle School and High School, Lafayette Township School,  Lounsberry Hollow School, Marian Emmons McKeown School, Montague Elementary, Rolling Hills Primary School, Stillwater Township School, Sussex Middle School, Valley Road School, Vernon Township High School, Walnut Ridge Preschool, Wantage Elementary School, and Warren County Technical School.  Information about the Season of Hope Toy Drive and the programs and services available at Project Self-Sufficiency are available at www.projectselfsufficiency.org or by calling 973-940-3500.