When Giving is the Greatest Gift of All

When Giving is the Greatest Gift of All

For the past two decades, Silver Creek Middle School teacher Jessica Kardashian has been coordinating an annual community project sponsored by the Lake View Community Association where she brings together local Boy Scouts to assemble baskets for people in the community who are not having the best holiday season. 

The 40-some baskets are filled with an assortment of fruit, baked goods, ornaments, coffee, and other treats and are delivered to deserving individuals for various reasons including surgery, death of a loved one, and to those who don’t get out or engage in the holiday season.

This year, Kardashian brought the project to Silver Creek and gave her students an opportunity to work hard to bring out some of the best of the spirit of the holidays.

Kardashian, who teaches sixth grade, invited members of the Knights Against Cancer and History & Culture clubs, which she advises, to bake with her after school during the week of Dec. 2, 2019, and they made and decorated 10 dozen cookies. Her sixth-graders were invited to stay after school and work on making ornaments to be included in the baskets of goodies; 23 Black Knights showed up to help.

“It’s just a little something that really kicks off the holiday season for me and I wanted our students to have opportunities to give back,” says Kardashian. “So I offered volunteer hours to the kids and supplied all of the materials. They had a blast and I definitely plan on doing it again.”


Kardashian, who also co-advises Quiz Bowl at SCCS and helps run the student international trips, began the basket effort when she was a Girl Scout herself. She now works on coordinating the effort throughout the year, but says the highlight is being able include her students. 

Also helping with the effort was Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus, where students in the Culinary program donated 30 dozen cut-out cookies and 30 loaves of bread for the baskets. Several Silver Creek High students are in the E2CCB program and participated. With the help of the Boy Scouts, the items were assembled, wrapped and the baskets were delivered the weekend of Dec. 7-8, 2019.

“Silver Creek CSD is thankful to Mrs. Kardashian for including our Black Knights in this opportunity to make someone’s day while giving back and learning about themselves,” said Superintendent Todd A. Crandall. “I hope this inspires in our students a lifelong desire to give back to their community.”

Student volunteers decorate basket donations.