Coming together


On January 27, Evelyn Garcia, 12, experiences the death of her mother who passed away, at the Downey Hospital, because of a stroke and her battle with Cancer. “ I had a very close relationship,” Garcia said. “She was somebody I could go to.”

Gustavo Ramirez, Opinions Editor

With the passing away of Evelyn Garcia’s mother, Downey High School held fundraisers in order to help the Garcia family in their time of need. Teachers and other faculty members who personally knew Garcia assisted her by selling various treats or simply expecting students to give out of the kindness of their hearts. The fundraisers turned out to be immensely helpful.

Math teacher Richere Barbeau held her own fundraiser for the family, hoping to reach out and support the family as best as possible.

“I wanted to help Evelyn because I have known for a really long time,” Barbeau said. “She has been my student since freshman year, and helping her out seemed like the best thing to do.”

In total, Barbeau’s class raised a little over one hundred dollars, which all went directly to the Garcia family. The school, in total, raised over three hundred dollars. As impressive as the sum of money is, the main focus truly is the reaction and compassion of a group of people towards a single family. Although the community did not have to aid the Garcia family in their time of sorrow and hurt, they did—and did so with care.

“I’m very surprised the community helped me out the way it did,” Garcia said. “I’m very happy. I want to thank everyone who has helped me and donated to help pay for all the costs.”

The irony in Garcia’s doubt and disbelief in the capacity of the community to respond is that this instance will be held as a shining moment in DHS history. The mobilization involved in the support of her loss is impressive, based on the fact that it was quick and not forced.

“It’s really nice to see everyone pulling together to help a family in need,” Barbeau says. “It was also really cool to see students like Jessica [Castillo] take the initiative to help on their own. She didn’t just wait for an opportunity, she went out there and asked if she could hold a bake sale.”

Students like Jessica are key to the positive and amazing attitude that Downey presents to its residents. Sadly, situations like this arise unannounced and can have devastating consequences; yet, this has been indicative of the wonderful disposition that Downey has for their own.

“I knew the student body held fundraisers for the senior class,” senior Marcus Mejia said, “but I didn’t know they would come through to help Evelyn and her family.  I’ve always held respect for the student body, but the fundraiser held for Evelyn’s family really showed Downey’s true colors.”

Garcia’s mother passed away on the afternoon of Jan. 27. After a long battle with cancer. The cause of her death was a stroke, which caused her to be hospitalized for six days until she went on her way. Evelyn Garcia, however, pledges to make this experience a positive one and will dedicate her life to making it as fulfilling as possible.