NEWS Walnut Valley Unified School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 880 S. Lemon Avenue
December 6, 2013 Walnut, CA 91789
Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
(909)595-1261 ext. 31204
Collegewood Elementary Sponsors Week of Giving
WALNUT, CA-- Collegewood Elementary students and staff members donated special gifts to help families in need during the week of December 2.
Each grade level was assigned a theme and charity for annual holiday Week of Giving event.
Kindergarteners delivered new winter jackets for newborn to adult sizes in their classroom bins. First graders brought in new pajamas and books and second grade students donated cozy blankets.
Third grade students delivered non-perishable food items, fourth graders brought toiletries and clothing and fifth graders collected loose change and dollars for the fundraiser. Staff members dropped off donations in the school office.
By the end of the week, bins in every classroom were brimming with the donations collected for the San Gabriel Valley Coalition for the Homeless Winter Shelter Program and several local families.
“The purpose of the Week of Giving is to teach the children the essence of giving back to their community and building empathy for those who are less fortunate,” said Principal Joan Perez.
“This wonderful week enables the students to learn more about the local need for charities and to really service their community and learn what that means and how it makes them feel inside to actually have that experience of doing for others,” she said.
Community Club member Diane Creyaufmiller has organized the event for the past several years.
Her 4th grade son, Joseph, said she really likes to be a part of the holiday giving.
And he likes it too.
“It makes me feel really good to help the people on the streets,” Joseph said.
“Maybe we need to think about others and reaching out to others when we have so much. And that little things like this can really make a big impact,” first grade teacher Melani Garrett said.
Garrett said the children have a very basic concept of what being homeless or living in a shelter means.
She used a tiny pair of donated pink pajamas to help her students learn about it.
“Look at these - they are so cute! Can you imagine a little baby living in a shelter and her family doesn’t have a home? These pajamas will make them so happy!” she explained.
“I tried to give them a picture of something so simple that we take for granted,” she added.
First grader Christopher Khaing donated pajamas and a book to read at bedtime.
“I want the other people in shelters to be happy,” he said.
“I think the whole Week of Giving teaches our children to appreciate what they have and to think of the needs’ of others,” Garrett said.
“The program gives students an opportunity to learn that not everybody has what is so normal to them.”
Creyaufmiller dropped off about 20 boxes of donated goods to the East San Gabriel Coalition for Homeless distribution center in Hacienda Heights on December 6.
“Our clients need everything. The littlest thing like a toothbrush or blanket is huge for them,” said staff member Maria Castanon.
Collegewood second grader Ethan Nedanghi, age 7, shows some of the cuddly blankets donated by classmates.
Collegewood Elementary hosted a Week of Giving to help families in need during the week Shown: Principal Joan Perez with students Joseph Creyaufmiller, Christopher Khiang and Maya Soto.