Droves of local residents and organizations are coming to the rescue to replenish toys and other items taken from the SUV of Summit Academy Community School – Parma parent Lisa Nuti. As the longtime president of the Parents Teachers Students Together, or the PTST parent-teacher support group, Nuti has organized a Holiday Shop at the school where students can select low- to no-cost gifts for their family members. On Tuesday, Dec. 17, Nuti discovered in her Old Brooklyn driveway, her SUV windows broken and more than $500 of gifts she had purchased for the Holiday Shop stolen.
Since word spread on social media and a WEWS-TV5 news report, there has been an outpouring of support to replace items that were stolen. Monetary gifts have come from We Are Parma, Summit Academy Management, neighbors at Camelot Apartments and many others.
Tomorrow morning, the parent of a former student will arrive at the school as Santa to deliver a gift for every student. “Santa” collected more than $650 from concerned community members to purchase the gifts.
“The Christmas spirit is truly alive in the community of Parma. Our school community is overwhelmed with joy and touched by the community outreach,” says Saree Doyle, school assistant director.
This afternoon, Parma Professional Firefighters Local 639 Engine 1 arrived along with two vans full of toys for school students and a special treat: a visit from Santa riding on a fire truck.
Parma Area Family Collaborative, a social service agency serving families in 14 area cities, is readying donations for Summit Academy Parma as well. “This is our community. I will not allow a child to go without something at Christmas,” says Kristi Forsyth, program supervisor.
Dean of Students Audrey Bell says “seeing the children’s faces upon the arrival of gifts has been extremely touching and heartwarming.”
Heather Graham, who teaches first- and second-grade, shares Bell’s sentiment: “Watching their faces light up when Santa pulled in is something you will never forget,” she says.