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Thanksgiving Luncheon for homeless students

The true meaning of the holiday

New York Teacher
Chapter Advocate Rashad Brown dons a turkey costume to the delight of children d
Jonathan Fickies

Chapter Advocate Rashad Brown dons a turkey costume to the delight of children doing crafts.

Chapter Leader Jackie Herman (left) and delegate Tina Schneider, both of IS 98 i
Jonathan Fickies

Chapter Leader Jackie Herman (left) and delegate Tina Schneider, both of IS 98 in Brooklyn, look in on some of the students.

Jackie Herman, the chapter leader at IS 98 in Brooklyn, has volunteered every year at the Thanksgiving Luncheon that the UFT Middle School Division hosts with the Coalition for the Homeless since it was first held five years ago. But the event never ceases to pull at her heartstrings.

“Last year when we gave a coat to one of the children, he said, ‘I don’t get a coat — I had ice cream already,’” recalled Herman, joined by her school’s UFT delegate Tina Schneider as they helped a group of children being served lunch. “I told him he got both, and he wanted to hand me the birdhouse he made in exchange. I told him he got to keep that, too.”

About 200 children from eight homeless shelters across the city were provided with a bounty of winter clothing after enjoying a scrumptious Thanksgiving-themed lunch that included ice cream sundaes. The Nov. 17 event at UFT headquarters also featured crafts, tattoos, face painting and a nail and hair salon run by students from Queens Technical HS.
The coats and winter accessories came from donations or from money raised by UFT members and the Municipal Credit Union, the event’s co-sponsor.

“I love Thanksgiving — it’s my favorite holiday,” said UFT Vice President for Middle Schools Richard Mantell, who organized the event. “There are way too many homeless kids and we want to help them fully appreciate and understand the meaning of this great day.”

On hand to help out and take it all in were UFT President Michael Mulgrew, Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza and about three dozen volunteers like Lance Schatzman, the chapter leader at PS 329 in Brooklyn.

“Being able to go to school with a nice new winter coat can make a huge difference for these children,” said Schatzman, who was volunteering for the third straight year. “Their faces glow when they receive them, and it gives you goose bumps just seeing their joy.”

New MCU President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Ricca spent the event serving and checking in on the children with his staff. “These children have enough challenges in their lives,” he said, “and if we can make it easier for them, there’s nothing better you can do.”

UFT Vice President for Middle Schools Richard Mantell serves ice cream for make-
Jonathan Fickies

UFT Vice President for Middle Schools Richard Mantell serves ice cream for make-your-own sundaes.

Thanksgiving Luncheon for Homeless Students 2018

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Lance Schatzman, the chapter leader at PS 329 in Brooklyn, checks in on 6th-graders as they enjoy their lunch.
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Students show off their brand new coats and winter gloves.
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Staten Island Special Representative Donna Coppola (left) helps serve lunch to the children.
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UFT Vice President for Middle Schools Richard Mantell has a big smile and plenty of ice cream for sundaes the children made for themselves.
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Chapter Advocate Rashad Brown dons a turkey costume to the delight of the children.
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A 4th-grader shows off a bracelet she made with guidance from UFT Vice President for Special Education MaryJo Ginese.
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UFT President Michael Mulgrew checks in on the progress at one of the crafts tables.
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A 5th-grader picks out gloves as the coats and other winter accessories are handed out.
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A 6th-grader has her hair curled by Queens Technical HS cosmetology students.
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Brad Alter (left), a teacher at Spring Creek Community School who dressed as a pilgrim, walks through the activities tables with Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza.
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Chapter Leader Jackie Herman (left) and delegate Tina Schneider, both of IS 98 in Brooklyn, look in on some of the students.
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Christine O’Callaghan of PS 106 in the Bronx helps a 4th-grader pick out a new winter coat.
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Among those on hand to make sure the children enjoyed themselves are (from left) MCU President and CEO Mark Ricca, Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, UFT President Michael Mulgrew and UFT Vice President Richard Mantell, the event’s organizer.
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Mother and daughter have their nails done by Queens Technical HS cosmetology students.
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Lance Schatzman, the chapter leader at PS 329 in Brooklyn, checks in on 6th-graders as they enjoy their lunch.
Image
Students show off their brand new coats and winter gloves.
Image
Staten Island Special Representative Donna Coppola (left) helps serve lunch to the children.
Image
UFT Vice President for Middle Schools Richard Mantell has a big smile and plenty of ice cream for sundaes the children made for themselves.
Image
Chapter Advocate Rashad Brown dons a turkey costume to the delight of the children.
Image
A 4th-grader shows off a bracelet she made with guidance from UFT Vice President for Special Education MaryJo Ginese.
Image
UFT President Michael Mulgrew checks in on the progress at one of the crafts tables.
Image
A 5th-grader picks out gloves as the coats and other winter accessories are handed out.
Image
A 6th-grader has her hair curled by Queens Technical HS cosmetology students.
Image
Brad Alter (left), a teacher at Spring Creek Community School who dressed as a pilgrim, walks through the activities tables with Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza.
Image
Chapter Leader Jackie Herman (left) and delegate Tina Schneider, both of IS 98 in Brooklyn, look in on some of the students.
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Christine O’Callaghan of PS 106 in the Bronx helps a 4th-grader pick out a new winter coat.
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Among those on hand to make sure the children enjoyed themselves are (from left) MCU President and CEO Mark Ricca, Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, UFT President Michael Mulgrew and UFT Vice President Richard Mantell, the event’s organizer.
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Mother and daughter have their nails done by Queens Technical HS cosmetology students.
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