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Ahee

Trombly reaches out to neighbors


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Right, along with the coat drive, Trombly also held a Hats for Hurricane Sandy Victim fundraiser last Friday. Students donated money to wear a hat, of which there were many types, ranging from baseball caps to Mad Hatter-like top hats. photo by Renee Landuyt.

November 15, 2012
Community outreach coordinators Anna Bouton and Jacklyn Kaye sat sifting through boxes and garbage bags full of coats and boots and hats and mittens last Friday afternoon, separating and organizing them into piles.

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More than 200 articles of the winter essentials covered Trombly Elementary School's stage, donations from Trombly families to others around Detroit Enterprise Academy, a kindergarten to eighth grade charter school located at St. Jean and Kercheval in Detroit.

Bouton and Kaye started a partnership with Enterprise Academy this year, hoping, with help and involvement from students, to bridge the gap between the neighboring communities. To have kids helping kids.

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"The communities are so close, yet there seems to be such a separation between the two," Kaye said. "It'd be nice to bridge the gap, and I think the kids are probably the easiest way to do that."

The coat drive is the first of many steps toward bridging that gap. Each year for Christmas, Academy teachers run an adopt-a-family program, their own way of instilling character and virtue through acts of giving. This year, Bouton said, Trombly families will also participate.

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"We're going to help out with it this year," Bouton said. "We're hoping for a long-term partnership."

Hats for Hurricane Sandy Victims

In addition to the coat drive, which spanned about three weeks, Michele Lindsay of Trombly's Parent Teacher Organization organized a Hats for Hurricane Sandy Victims fundraiser. To participate, students donated anything from a quarter to $20. No matter the value, anyone who donated was allowed to wear a hat for the day last Friday. It was Lindsay's hope to raise about $275, enough to say every Trombly student donated a dollar. The school raised $681.94.

"Some parents matched their child's donation," Lindsay said of the overwhelming participation. "It's just to encourage that spirit of giving."

Coat drives, fundraisers for natural disaster victims, its all part of Trombly's recent history of building community awareness and teaching the importance of "giving back." In the past, Trombly has partnered with COTS, a temporary shelter working to alleviate homelessness in Detroit; donated to a food pantry kitchen off 7 Mile; hosted a Dressing Up for Joplin fundraiser and others.

"We've done a variety of things and it all comes out of, we need to help those close, those far," Trombly principal Walt Fitzpatrick said. "We try to focus on kids helping kids."

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Ed Rinke