Kevin’s Kids Asks For Help To Fulfill The Secret Santa Tradition

  MANCHESTER – The Manchester Township School District’s Kevin’s Kids initiative is in its 41st year of helping every family in need have their holiday gift list fulfilled. This gift drive does not collect generic gifts for giving but brings the community together to fundraise and shop confidentially from specific gift wish lists submitted by Manchester families who ask Kevin’s Kids for support during the holiday season. This month kicks off the 41st season of the Manchester School’s Kevin’s Kids initiative and Manchester is busy mobilizing to fulfill another record number of gift wish list requests.

  Kevin’s Kids efforts go above and beyond just providing gifts to children in need. By fulfilling a child’s specific gift list, we have helped them achieve. A student who received their first computer through Kevin’s Kids in the past later went on to attend MIT. Last year, a student was gifted driving lessons. Children have requested work boots or bicycles to ensure they can get to work and perform their jobs after school hours successfully and completely. And every year, every child receives a warm coat.

  “This is one of Manchester School’s biggest fundraising efforts and it truly shows what a great community and place Manchester is to live and raise a family” said Alex George, Director of Student Personnel Services. “Kevin’s Kids is another reason that I am so proud to be a part of this school district and town. We are truly a family who works together to take care of those in our community.”

  Everyone in the school district and surrounding community plays a role in Kevin’s Kids. Through donations and fundraisers staff, families and community organizations show their support. School bus drivers volunteer to pick up and transport gifts while Building and Grounds employees spend hours of their own time putting together toys and bikes. Senior communities are a huge part of the donation supporting efforts and the Township entities and businesses support through donations, drives and even provide space where the school district can hold gifts ahead of distribution. Staff members come on their own time with their families on the weekend before the final gift distribution to shop for any outstanding gifts, sort those gifts per family, wrap them with love and prepare them for the anonymous distribution that occurs at a district school on a weekend afternoon.

  Community members interested in supporting Kevin’s Kids can do so through gift cards and monetary donations placed in the boxes at the below listed local businesses. We are also in need of wrapping paper donations which can be dropped off to Alex George at Kevin’s Kids “North Pole” located at Manchester Township Middle School, 2759 Ridgeway Rd., Manchester. Drop off any and all donations by December 8.

  Kevin’s Kids started 41 years ago when a first-grade teacher at Whiting Elementary School shared with Kevin Burger, the school’s principal at the time, about a student who informed him that Santa did not come to his house that year. Kevin and the teacher learned of the child’s holiday wish list and, together with their colleagues, made Christmas happen for that student. From there Kevin’s Kids was formed and has expanded tremendously. Last year, under the leadership of Director of Student Personnel Services Alex George, and alongside Kevin Burger, the school district helped approximately 400 children to have a holiday last year.        

  Manchester Businesses with Boxes for Kevin’s Kid’s Donations:

  • Crossroad Realty – 2002 Route 70
  • Crossroad Realty- Route 530, Whiting
  • Dollar General – Whiting
  • Heritage Restaurant
  • Jimmy C’s Barber Shop
  • Manchester Library & Whiting Library
  • Oliverie Funeral Home
  • Quick Chek
  • ShopRite
  • Silverwoods Adult Community
  • Whiting Station – Club House
  • Stop & Shop – Whiting
  • Leisure Ridge Adult Community
  • Lester Glenn Subaru of Toms River
  • Expressions Hair Salon
  • Chick-fil-A – Route 70, Brick