The Gill St. Bernard’s community came together for an incredible display of generosity, pride, and service as the school celebrated its 20th annual Turkey Day.
As one of Gill's most beloved school traditions, Turkey Day is a time in which preschool to 12th grade students collect frozen turkeys to help those in need during the holiday season. The first Turkey Day started in 2003 when former GSB Head Librarian, Randi Schmidt, organized an emergency turkey collection after discovering that a truck had flipped while delivering turkeys to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey (CFBNJ). Since that day, GSB has partnered with CFBNJ every year to recreate the original act of kindness and support New Jersey residents from across the state who are suffering from hunger and food insecurity.
“GSB’s 20-year commitment to donating turkeys to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey is critical to the success of our annual drive,” said former parent Jill Gateman P’17 ‘20 who serves on CFBNJ’s Board of Directors. Prior to Turkey Day, Ms. Gateman and other colleagues from CFBNJ visited upper school assembly to talk with students about their organization’s mission and the impact that individuals can make on the world around them.
“As the largest single donor, we are so incredibly grateful for the school’s ongoing generosity.” commented Ms. Gateman.
This year, students, parents, faculty, and staff collected an amazing 609 frozen turkeys that included a very considerate donation from The Gateman family. The GSB Operations Team assisted CFBNJ with collecting the donations which will be distributed to soup kitchens and pantries across the state.
"Turkey day is one more example of how the Gill St. Bernard’s community gives back to others beyond the school’s campus,” said Head of School Sid Rowell, who has overseen every Turkey Day collection since its founding.
As part of the 20th anniversary, students also took part in a variety of community building activities throughout the day. Some highlights included parents visiting preschool classrooms to learn about their “reduce, reuse, recycle” projects, upper schoolers reading Thanksgiving-themed stories to Lower Schoolers, and of course the annual “Turkey Trot” event in the afternoon.
We are incredibly thankful to the full GSB community for donating to this worthwhile cause and continuing this signature school tradition!