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Student-Led Christmas Project Brings the Gift of Giving to 48 Families in Need

Student-Led Christmas Project Brings the Gift of Giving to 48 Families in Need

The spirit of Christmas giving is alive and well at Central Catholic! Entering its 17th year, the Christmas Project is a long-honored, entirely student operated initiative with a goal of providing Christmas gifts to 48 of the ‘least favored’ families in the local community.

In an effort to raise funds for the project, student leaders worked alongside Campus Ministry to identify a representative from each of the 48 homerooms at CCHS, and the individual homerooms were assigned one family.

After three collection days and a successful school-wide raffle, the money raised by each homeroom was used to purchase gifts for their specific sponsored family, and were delivered the week before Christmas in collaboration with Catholic Charities. Any additional donations were used to purchase coats, gloves and mittens for Lazarus House, and were hand delivered by Central Catholic faculty and students.

Senior Hanna Scotch '19 led the Christmas Project efforts for her fourth year, alongside additional members of the student leadership team Natalia Clark '19, Claire Fallon '20, and Hugh O’Connor '21. Members of the CCHS faculty including Mrs. Vicki Blaszak, a campus minister, and religious studies teachers Mr. Tim Hart '85 and Mrs. Diana Chase, also offered significant support to students throughout the process.

“I have always had a good Christmas with my family, and I would just like to give as many families as I can that same opportunity,” said Hanna Scotch '19. “I love seeing Central Catholic students come together to raise approximately $10,000 for this amazing project so that other families can have a good Christmas!”

The Christmas Project was created in 2001 by CCHS alumna Ms. Elizabeth Richards '04 (now Mrs. Borrelli). As a sophomore at Central Catholic, Mrs. Borrelli approached faculty member Mr. Joe Lynch with an idea to adopt over 40 families for Christmas. Mr. Lynch – a current social studies teacher at CCHS – put his full support behind her idea. Now 17 years later, the legacy of the Christmas Project continues.

“My ultimate goal in starting the Christmas Project was to help those who are less fortunate,” said Mrs. Borrelli '04. “My second year doing the project a request really stood out to me when a high school aged girl asked for shoes for Christmas. SHOES! I thought of all the shoes I had in my closet at home, so many of which I didn’t even wear, and this girl just wanted one pair as a Christmas gift. I wanted these families to know that they are valued and respected by other members of their community and that we are all here for each other.” Over 15 years later, Mrs. Borrelli continues to contribute to the Christmas Project.

Central Catholic students have also been spreading Christmas cheer in other ways such as writing Christmas cards to residents of a local nursing home, and collecting socks for the homeless. The act of giving is a year-round event at CCHS, and embodies the true mission of Central Catholic – giving of yourself to serve the ‘least favored.”

Photo Caption: Pictured in above photo, Central Catholic students carry out bags full of gifts for 48 local families in need. The students helped load the gifts into Catholic Charities trucks for delivery, and also loaded boxes of donated coats, gloves and mittens onto a Central Catholic bus to be delivered to Lazarus House.

 Christmas Project student leaders Claire Fallon '20, Natalia Clark '19, Hannah Scotch '19, Hugh O'Connor '21

Pictured here, Christmas Project student leaders Claire Fallon '20, Natalia Clark '19, Hannah Scotch '19, Hugh O'Connor '21

Thank you to the Christmas Project Team and to all those who supported the 2018 Christmas Project!

Central Catholic High School
A College Preparatory High School of Excellence in the Marist Tradition

Founded by the Marist Brothers in the heart of Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1935, Central Catholic High School enrolls 1,200 students from over 60 cities and towns and several countries. Students come from diverse backgrounds to form a caring community of faith, learning, and service. They advance to college in overwhelming numbers (nearly 100%) and move on to successful careers and positions of leadership in government, business, industry, academia, and professions.

Central Catholic High School is fully accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

For more information, please visit, call 978-682-0260, or email

Mission: Central Catholic High School makes Jesus known and loved.
We educate the whole person for college and for life, with particular care for the least favored and those in need.