DRACUT — The staff and students at Joseph A. Campbell Elementary School are working hard to put kindness into action in three practical ways this holiday season.

Last month, the school started collecting broken or unwanted crayons that will be donated to the Crayon Initiative (, a nonprofit organization that remanufactures crayons and donates them to hospital learning or enrichment programs. To date, the school has collected more than 60 pounds of crayons.

At the same time, gently used coats started arriving for the annual warmth drive sponsored by Anton’s Cleaners. That effort runs through January and will provide nearly 100 coats to local families in need.

Finally, the school is collecting canned-food items ahead of Thanksgiving and donating them to the Dracut Food Pantry. The school hopes to collect a total of 628 items — one for each student and staff member.

“This is all part of putting the core values of our Community of Caring efforts into action,” said Sue McLean, the school’s nurse.

McLean delivers the donated coats to Anton’s cleaners each week. She also presented the Crayon Initiative idea to Principal Chris Snyder. The hope is to find new and unique ways to positively impact the Dracut area.