Ballet schools help neighbors facing hardships

Left to right: Students Masha Bondarenko, Karen Smith, and Connie Truax show some of the clothes donated to the Marblehead School of Ballet and North Shore Civic Ballet’s third annual winter clothing drive. Photo by Marblehead School of Ballet

The Marblehead School of Ballet (MSB) and the North Shore Civic Ballet announced that their third winter clothing drive was a success on Jan. 16 in a press release.

The drive, stated the two organizations in a Jan. 16 press release, ran from Nov. 1 through Dec. 10, 2022, and collected more than 160 garments and expanded upon the momentum of the 2021 drive collecting winter coats for people of all ages and new pajama sets for children.

The collected garments will help neighbors experiencing hardships this winter.

The school and the ballet company collected gently-used winter coats for people of all ages and new pajamas for children, from zero to six years of age.

The coats were gathered and donated to the Coats for Kids and Families Partners Distribution Network. With more families facing economic hardships and homelessness, helping neighbors in need get through the cold winter was a priority, the release stated.

“During our 51st season, we wanted to help our neighbors facing difficult times.  The public responded enthusiastically and mobilized again for our third drive by donating gently used and new warm winter coats and purchasing new pajamas for children. With heartfelt appreciation, we thank everyone who contributed to the drive,” said Paula K. Shiff, Director, Marblehead School of Ballet.

Anton’s Cleaners cleaned the coats free of charge.  The cleaned garments will be distributed through the Coats for Kids and Families Distribution Network to 90 nonprofit organizations, social service agencies, schools, and religious groups in Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire.

The new pajamas were given to Lynn Economic Opportunity, a nonprofit in Lynn, Massachusetts working with children and families and an early education and care provider in southern Essex County. Rosemary Grant, a member of the North Shore Civic Ballet’s board of trustees, packaged and delivered the new pajamas to Lynn Economic Opportunity.

Judy Moynihan, a member of the North Shore Civic Ballet’s board of directors, delivered the collected coats to Anton’s Cleaners Annual Coats for Kids and Families drive.

“The North Shore Civic Ballet is very grateful to everyone who donated to the drive.  We gathered and delivered all of the donated coats to a cleaner, which cleaned and distributed them to people who could use and enjoy them,” said Moynihan.

The North Shore Civic Ballet wanted to lessen the difficulties some families may experience this winter, according to Grant.

“We built upon the successes of our past drives and invited others to join us by donating new or gently used winter coats for people of all ages and new pajamas for children, ages 0 to six,” said Grant.