BHS surprises security guard with donations for toy drive

Cecily Spence, Managing Editor

On November 30, students and faculty gathered in the chorus room to surprise BHS security guard Troy Austin with gift donations. The items collected through “Troy’s Toy Drive” will be donated to the Salvation Army before being sent to families this holiday season. 

“I was really surprised,” Austin said. “I didn’t know what was going to happen, but I was definitely suspicious.”

Austin has been donating toys for the holiday season since 2015. Last year Austin helped to bring in nearly 1,600 gifts. 

Sofia Wells

“I hope that everyone has a good holiday season and that all of these kids are going to be able to play with something on Christmas morning,” Austin said.

Daniel Gavin, an advisor of the BHS Heroes Club, explains his excitement at being able to be a part of “Troy’s Toy Drive”.

“It feels really amazing [to be a part of this],” Gavin said. “Here is a man who is already devoting his time to school security and safety and other community events, and then he devotes his time to this. This man is an incredible individual and I’m proud to have him as a colleague.”

Students were also moved by the event. 

“I think it’s a super important cause and I’m just grateful that our school got the opportunity to work with someone who is so important in the BHS community,” Gaby Schulman ‘23 said. “I’m just so grateful that our school was able to all come together and put on this amazing surprise.”

The idea was proposed in a teacher meeting as a way to recognize and celebrate Austin who is known for his commitment to helping others in the community. 

“This was truly a community effort,” Principal McBride said. “Our faculty and our lead teachers were helping to organize it with the BHS Student Government and BHS Heroes Club…and I am so thankful for everyone and their contribution today.” 

This year’s collection effort is Sunday, Dec. 4 from 4:15-6:45 p.m. Bring your new and unwrapped present to Albert D. Lawton Intermediate School at 104 Maple St. in Essex Junction.

Look for Austin’s Nissan Rogue. It’s the one covered in nearly 2,000 lights.