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The Student News Site of Jupiter Community High School

War Cry

The Student News Site of Jupiter Community High School

War Cry

The Student News Site of Jupiter Community High School

War Cry

Interact Club teams up with Chasin A Dream Foundation for holiday toy drive

Interact Club
Interact Club members and sponsor gather toys from Macy’s for Chasin A Dream Foundation’s Annual Toy Drive.

The Jupiter High School Interact Club is hosting a toy drive to donate toys for the Chasin A Dream Foundation. The toy drive began on Nov. 2, and will be closing on Dec.13. 

The Chasin A Dream Foundation is helping to aid 521 local children in Jupiter, West Palm Beach and Martin County battling cancer, cystic fibrosis, heart disease and other life-threatening illnesses and disabilities this holiday season. 

“Founder, Lori Griffith, previously worked in the healthcare industry for the past 18 years, giving her a first hand look at what these children and their families face on a day to day basis. Lori wanted to be able to make more of a direct impact by providing life-changing assistance year round so she dedicated herself to building Chasin A Dream Foundation, based on her belief in community and Locals Helping Locals,” According to the Chasin a Dream Foundation website.  

Interact Club has helped the Chasin a Dream Foundation double their revenue and impact the community in the past years.

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“There are 521 kids in the community that are going to be helped by the toy drive,” Josephine Buscemi, Interact Club sponsor, said. “With our partnership with The Madyson [Nursing Home], we have about nine toy boxes that we have filled.” 

Buscemi first decided to become the Interact Club sponsor after receiving an email from Dr. Colleen Iannitti, JHS principal. Buscemi was the previous sponsor of the Leo Club at her old school in Windgap, PA, which participates in the same events as the Interact Club, such as volunteering at nursing homes. 

“When I came here my [Leo Club] doesn’t sponsor a group so when I got an email from Dr.Iannitti saying they needed a sponsor for Interact Club I said, ‘Sure? Why not?’” Buscemi said. 

Interact Club first began participating in the annual Toy Drive when Griffith reached out three years ago to ask for additional support for the holidays.

“First, we were partnered with the Chasin a Dream Foundation. So we were doing other events that they had like Pumpkin Fest,” Buscemi said. “Then [Griffith] reached out to me and asked if we could help out with Brunch With Santa. That’s when I found out about the Toy Drive, so we have expanded it since then.

Chasin a Dream has increased their impact every year since 2018. In 2024, with the help of the Interact Club, they hope to reach an even larger audience. 

“We’re trying to figure out ways to expand [ Interact Club] into more restaurants, more locations in the community and just getting out the word to more people because it’s on social media and it’s on the news, but it doesn’t always reach everyone.” Buscemi said.

Chasin a Dream has toy boxes in numerous local businesses such as sweetFrog, Blue Water Taco, Ground Swell Surf Shop, Guanabanas, Ocean Magic Surf Shop, Bagel Boyz, Christ Fellowship and more. 

“It’s all about helping local kids, so we want to make sure that the kids who are in need get the toys that they want for Christmas,” Buscemi said.


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About the Contributor
Taylor Rountree, Staffer
Taylor Rountree, freshman, is a first year staffer on War Cry. Her family moved from Maryland to Jupiter eight years ago in order to support her grandparents, who own Sweet Frog frozen yogurt. To take a break from the family business, Rountree enjoys going to the beach and shopping with friends. She is interested in writing about geography and history, which is her favorite subject in school. In addition, Rountree is excited to interview people around the school and share new ideas to War Cry.

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    Lori GriffithDec 13, 2023 at 1:11 pm

    We are so beyond impressed with the interact club, and the impact they have made with Chasin A Dream Foundation. We strongly believe in Locals, helping Locals, and in people taking an active part in helping those in need. The students of the interact club under the guidance of their amazing teacher, Josephine Buscemi, have gone above and beyond on so many events of ours, and we are extremely grateful to them .