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Lazar Middle students prove that WISHes can come true

Lazar's WISH Student Advisory Leadership collected 200 presents for Morris County Foster children.

WISH (What If Students Helped) helps 100 children in foster care this holiday season.

Nine years ago, a Robert R. Lazar Middle School student brought the needs of children living in the Morris County Foster Care system to the attention of teacher Danielle Vytell-Mitschele. At the time Vytell-Mitschele and her students selected one foster child to sponsor with gifts and other needs. Over the intervening years, the project’s scope has grown.

This December, Vytell-Mitschele’s Advisory Leadership students expanded the school’s foster care goals. The Advisory Leadership students call themselves WISH (What If Students Helped). Together the group launched a campaign to assist 100 foster children. By reaching out to teachers and the community at large, gifts came pouring in.

On Monday, December 19, 2016, a van headed to the Morris County Foster Care program arrived at Lazar, a Montville Township Public Schools facility. The Advisory Leadership students helped to load more than 200 wrapped, tagged, and numerically organized gifts into the vehicle.

“It is amazing to see the true meaning of the holidays through our students’ eyes,” said Assistant Principal John Piselli. “We are so proud of our students for undertaking this wonderful task!”

Piselli extended a special thank you to Vytell-Mischele for expanding the scope of the foster care project year after year.  

“The students and staff at Lazar Middle School await this drive each year,” Piselli noted.

In time for the 2016 holiday season, the gifts will be distributed to foster children throughout Morris County.