Linda Kohan is Huntington’s Special Elf

Washington Principal Marsha Neville with Linda Kohan and wrapped gifts.

December 19, 2016

Everyone has their own individual holiday traditions that they hold dear, including Linda Kohan. The Huntington School District social worker loves her job, even if she leaves for home exhausted at the end of each day. The longtime faculty member routinely goes above and beyond what’s expected of her.

Mrs. Kohan annually spearheads the “adoption” of several dozen local families for the holidays. It’s one of her traditions. This year there are more than four dozen such families split between Washington and Southdown Schools that will enjoy a much happier experience because of the tireless faculty member.

The families are adopted anonymously by those assisting with the project, but Mrs. Kohan knows how much they need help. She devoted many days to shopping for over 200 people from the families, acquiring nearly 1,000 individual gift items. The social worker received support from faculty and staff members, school district families, friends outside the district, PTAs and local organizations concerned with the welfare of those residing in the community, especially children.

About 1,000 gifts have been a
wrapped for distribution.

“Needless to say it’s a lot of work, but it’s for such a good cause,” Mrs. Kohan said. “There are so many needy families in the community that our schools serve and this is one way of making their holidays brighter.”

Mrs. Kohan organizes and wraps all of the gifts. Colleagues have been known to lend a hand during the project. Day by day the piles of gifts grow larger.

“Linda does such a wonderful job every year helping out some of our families that are really struggling financially,” Washington Principal Marsha Neville said. “Because of her and those who have assisted with this project, so many Washington children will have a joy filled experience.”

Mrs. Neville and her Southdown counterpart, Scott Oshrin allow available spaces in their respective buildings to be turned into storage areas for the hundreds of gifts that are wrapped and readied for distribution. “Without the support of Marsha and Scott we wouldn’t be able to accomplish our goal,” Mrs. Kohan said.

Southdown’s struggling families will surely welcome the presents. “Linda has worked with the PTA, staff and local community organizations to create a happy holiday season for families in need,” Mr. Oshrin said. “Her efforts are commendable and make a positive impact on the lives of many.”