Steel Valley’s Barrett Elementary collecting donations for variety of causes during 12 Days of Giving

Barrett Elementary principal Kevin Walsh and teacher Jessica Andzelik show off the donations made so far during the school's 12 Days of Giving project

Barrett Elementary principal Kevin Walsh and teacher Jessica Andzelik show off the donations made so far during the school's 12 Days of Giving project

The Steel Valley School District’s Barrett Elementary is collecting donations as part of its 12 Days of Giving project. Each day through Nov. 23, the program is highlighting a different cause important to the Steel Valley community. Barrett students are also crafting various items as part of the campaign.

“I think every student here in the building should learn at this stage that it’s good to give,” Barrett Elementary principal Kevin Walsh said. “No matter how old you are, you can always help someone else out, and I think that’s important for the staff to take the time to teach the students that aspect of life.”

“We have teachers and community members from the high school, the middle school and Park Elementary and all throughout the Steel Valley community all sharing it on social media and they’re all trying to figure out ways to come and donate,” added Barrett Elementary teacher Jessica Andzelik, one of the organizers of the project. “It’s a collaborative effort and everyone is playing a role in it.”

The campaign began on Monday, Nov. 8 with the purchase of pumpkins for $1. Children decorated the pumpkins and brought them back to school. The proceeds benefitted the KDKA Turkey Fund. Other donations last week included packages of Hershey’s Hugs and LifeSavers candy, which will be sent to nurses to say thanks for their service; rolls of paper towels that will be sent to a local animal shelter; cans of soup that will be donated to The Rainbow Kitchen in Homestead; and donations of loose change, which raised money for Steel Valley softball’s annual Fast Pitch for the Cure campaign.

This week, Barrett Elementary performed random acts of kindness around the community to spread good cheer. On Tuesday, the school collected socks that it will donate to the homeless. On Wednesday, the school will begin accepting donations of deodorant and ChapStick to help stock the Steel Valley Caring Closet. Later this week, students will also make cards to thank someone special in their lives and craft placemats that will be donated to local nursing homes to help bring smiles to the residents. 

The 12 Days of Giving will wrap up with a collection of new coloring books that will be part of the Batch For Toys program, and the Barrett Elementary staff will reward the students for their hard work and generosity with a gift on November 23. While the campaign is highlighting a different cause each day, donations for any of the causes will be accepted at any time. Donations can be made through November 23 by dropping them off at Barrett Elementary, 221 E 12th Ave, Homestead, PA 15120.

Media interested in learning more about Barrett Elementary’s 12 Days of Giving program should contact Andrew Chiappazzi of the Allegheny Intermediate Unit at 412-290-2090 or

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