Photo courtesy of Giuseppe Marraccino.
It’s a special day for Bessie Tsimba and the residents at NuPath’s Salem Street home in Lynnfield.
A tree surrounded by toys and games await two very special guests who are, in turn, picking them up to bring the happiness of the Holiday Season to hundreds of children around the state of Massachusetts.
Eagerly anticipating her guests, Tsimba looks out her door, awaiting the arrival of State Troopers Joe Ciampa and David Salvucci. “They’re going to be so happy when they see all of the toys we have for them!” she exclaims.
NuPath’s Holiday tradition of partnering with the Massachusetts State Police for their annual ‘Toys for Tots’ drive has been a staple of the Organization’s holiday calendar since 2007, when it began at their Salem Street residence.
Eleven years later, Tsimba is the new face of the tradition, but in a very familiar place. “I’m so excited to lead what has become a very important part of NuPath’s Holiday season.”
Her role as Salem Street’s Program Manager means that, this year, she had the responsibility of welcoming Troopers Ciampa and Salvucci as they walked in the door, greeted by the Holiday-themed décor and lights of the living room – a space filled with the Holiday beauty.
“Wow, you’re going to make a lot of children happy with all of these toys,” Trooper Ciampa says. “You’re all very thoughtful and gracious to share your holiday cheer with others!”
Troopers Ciampa and Salvucci spent some time with Tsimba, her staff and the four residents who have called Salem Street their home since opening its doors in 2006, under then-Program Manager Michelle Belliveau.
Today, Belliveau may work as a Residential Director but hasn’t lost sight of her roots in a Holiday tradition that began during her time at the residence. “It warms my heart to see Bessie and her team continue a tradition that benefits so many families and children,” she said.
“It’s a pleasure for NuPath to support this initiative because it means we get to give back to an important part of our communities – the children,” said Moses Mujjewa, a member of the NuPath support team at Salem Street. “It’s a subtle reminder to us that we need to spread Holiday cheer to those who need it.”
Skip, a resident at the home, agrees with the sentiments shared by the people who care for his health, happiness and well-being. “It makes me feel good to give back and make the Holidays a little better for children who aren’t as lucky as we are…it’s our way to thank everyone for the support we receive.”
No matter your affiliation with NuPath, traditions like these remind everyone associated with the Organization that their mission of making life’s journey happier, healthier and more fulfilling for people living with disabilities is one based on actions, not just words.
For Tsimba, the act of leading the latest example of NuPath’s mission in action is something that she takes on with great pride. “To be able to represent the Organization in this manner…is an honor and privilege,” she said.
“It’s at the root of our core values that we give back to our community and share these special gifts with our neighboring families.”