CCHS student asking for hygiene products for a non-profit that supports children; Gains credit through CEIP program

A Colonie Central High School student is asking the school community for support this holiday season in collecting hygiene products to benefit a local non-profit. Donations of these items will be collected now until Wednesday, Dec. 21. Individuals interested in supporting this cause, can bring items to CCHS College and Career Planning Center.

Student stands alongside a staff member holding a box of tolietries.
CCHS senior Mackenzie Haas stands alongside Lisa Droege in the College and Career Planning Center with her collection box of donated items. Haas is collecting items now until Wednesday, Dec. 21 in support of children affiliated with the CASA organization.

The Career Exploration Internship Program (CEIP) assists students in understanding the linkages among school, work, and postsecondary education. Students at CCHS participating in the CEIP have the ability to learn about a variety of career options through a non-paid worksite experience in a career area of interest. 

Current student Mackenzie Haas, a senior at CCHS, is a participant in the program this semester and has been working with a non-profit organization called Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).

“CASA is an organization that gives a voice to children who have been neglected or abused,” said Haas.  “The ages of children range from newborns up to 18 years of age.”

In addition to recruiting, training, and supervising volunteers to serve as advocates in family court for children who have been abused or neglected, the organization also provides resources to these children such as housing, gift cards for food, basic hygiene products, and more.

“Unfortunately, with the little awareness people have about CASA, they run low on the supplies to help these innocent children. I am looking for donations to provide for children that haven’t been given the best start to life.” Haas added.

box of tolietries
Drop off box located in the College and Career Planning Center.

Hass is collecting hygiene products from now until Wednesday, Dec. 21.  Individuals interested in helping out can bring the items to the high school’s College and Career Planning Center. A complete list of items can be found below.

“These children are the face of the future, and it’s important to make sure they have the basic tools to make this world a better place,” Haas said.

We had a chance to sit down with Haas to learn more about her experience with CEIP and her involvement with this vital organization.

Q&A with Haas

Q: How long have you been in the CEIP program and working with CASA?

A: I have been in the program since the start of the Fall semester.  I started working with CASA at the end of October or early November. 

Q: What has been the best part of the program so far?

A: The best part of the program is having Ms. Mesick by your side and having her as a resource.  It can be overwhelming to be a student and navigate the internship experience but she has been extremely helpful throughout this whole process.

Q: Why do you think opportunities like this are valuable for students?

A: I think it is very crucial that kids have these opportunities so they are able to grow as an individual. I think it is important to have access to a first-hand experience in the area of interest to see if it is a road that you want to go down professionally. 

Q: What does it mean for you to be able to get back?

A: For me, it gives me a sense of purpose. A lot of times the kids connected to CASA don’t feel like they are important. Having a sense of value is crucial to their development.  These kids don’t deserve the cards they were handed. They are the same as all other kids, just with out the basic things.  If I can help just one of them, then this is worth it to me. 

Q: If you can share one thing with other students about getting involved in the College and Career Planning programs, what would you say to them?

A: If you want to develop as an individual this is the exact program to get involved in.  This class is a great asset to your life to get experience and to start making connections. Connections are very to have when you get started in the next phase of your life.

Donations needed

Items in need include the following:

    • Soap/body wash
    • Shampoo
    • Conditioner
    • Washcloths
    • Toothpaste
    • Toothbrushes
    • Hair brushes/combs
    • Board games
    • Gift cards for food
    • Adult-size t-shirts and sweatpants

More information about CASA can be found here: