Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Community rallies around Nativity School of Harrisburg with Christmas gifts

Gifts for students at the Nativity School.

As students at the Nativity School of Harrisburg finished their classes on Tuesday before Christmas break, volunteers and staff prepared tables of gifts and food in the gymnasium.

They couldn’t have their typical holiday party, due to the pandemic, but they were determined to make it special for the students.

“It’s keeping up our tradition,” Felicia Ellzy, director of curriculum and instruction, said.

Students at the all-boys school received items like basketballs, backpacks, hats, gloves, toys and shirts. These donations came from a group of community members who wanted to help the Nativity School make Christmas special for the 48 boys.

Margaret Wilson tries to give back to the community around the holidays each year. This year, she thought of the Nativity School, which serves middle school boys from low-income families. She called up some friends and, before she knew it, gifts started coming in.

“When you have good friends, they are there to help you, no matter what,” Wilson said.

In addition, McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC, a Harrisburg-based law firm, donated boxes of food for students and their families. Ellzy said that they do this every year.

Shades of Greatness, NFL player LeSean McCoy’s foundation, annually donates sweatshirts, as well.

One volunteer on Tuesday said that it was even more important to help the Nativity School this year because of the recent shooting that happened in the school’s parking lot.

Volunteers, staff and students at Nativity School prepare tables of gifts.

Ellzy added that the food will help families, some of which are struggling with unemployment. She expects the boys will especially appreciate the basketballs.

“This helps keep their spirits up,” Ellzy said. “There’s so much need in the community.”

Due to the pandemic, the school is operating a hybrid learning model. Students are in school two days each week and virtual the rest.

The Nativity School recently moved to their new building on N. 5th Street, which Ellzy said was a great decision. There is more room for the growing body of students, she said.

Next year, the school hopes to increase capacity for enrollment. However, with the pandemic, plans are still tentative, Ellzy said.

Nativity School of Harrisburg is located at 2101 N. 5th St., Harrisburg. For more information, visit their website.

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