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Sandy Donation Effort Gets Lift From Local High School

Drive to collect toys and clothing for children affected by Hurricane Sandy was started by Bloomingdale family.

In addition to the holiday gift and food drives they run every year, the Madison High School Peer Group Connection and Student Council this season also supported "Santa's Rooftop Response," an effort to collect toys and clothing for children affected by Hurricane Sandy in Ortley Beach that was started by relatives of a faculty member at the school.

"Santa's Rooftop Response" was started by the five-year-old son of Christina Earle. The Madison drive was a success and enjoyed support from students, administrators and a Florham Park business, according to a news release about the program.

The high school's involvement in Santa's Rooftop Response came about as a result of Madison High School math teacher and service learning coordinator Marcia Prill being related to the Earles, and Prill then introducing the program to the school.

Santa's Rooftop Response gets its name from a question posed by a 5-year-old relative of Prill's from Bloomingdale. The boy, Prill's cousin's son, noted to his mother that Santa could have trouble delivering presents to Ortley Beach this year because there would be fewer roofs to land on.

The observation prompted Prill's relatives to form Santa's Rooftop Response, according to a news release about the program:

After Hurricane Sandy devastated the Jersey Shore, Marcia’s cousin’s five-year-old son ... stated, “I guess he isn’t coming (to the Jersey Shore).”  His Mom asked who? (He) stated “Santa, because there are no roofs for him to land on.” This simple comment and observation launched Marcia’s relatives into forming Santa’s Rooftop Response. Santa’s Rooftop Response collects toys and clothing for the residents of Ortley Beach where (the boy) spent his summers with his Oma and Opa.

The Santa's Rooftop drive was successful with the help of generous donations from students, faculty, staff and administrators, the news release said.

The Peer Group Connection and Student Council, advised by Leslie Gentile and Suzanne Monkemeier, respectively, also ran a holiday drive and food drive for area residents and food pantries.

PGC raised $150 selling blue ribbons, and both Student Council and PGC collected supplies and food.

ADP Insurance of Florham Park contributed to all of the endeavors, and has been a traditional benefactor of all of the PGC and Student Council Holiday Drives, the news release said.

"PGC and Student Council have a great deal of gratitude to all who supported all of their outreach efforts!" they said.

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