Downey High Goes Mad For TLC

While she enjoys helping people. Mrs. James raised money for the TLC fundraiser in her classes during school. “I just love what TLC does,” James said. “It helps families in Downey and I think that’s really cool.”

Corey Ocasio, Writer

The family resource program, Tender Loving Connections, more commonly referred to as TLC by the public, has been a pivotal force in helping out the community of Downey and providing aid to the less fortunate families living within the city for over a decade. This year, beginning March 5, Downey High held their annual March Madness fundraiser in order to contribute towards the cause and raise efforts for the program.


Since its establishment in 2000, TLC has been taken advantage of by disadvantaged families in the community and known as an outlet providing numerous free services including food and clothing, counseling, and medical assistance all to ensure that every student is supported and does not have to worry about financial difficulties.


ASB Commissioner of Viking Nation Valerie Flores,12, goes more in depth about what the program is really about and why it should stay active.


“Its [TLC] a program that helps students if they need things such as glasses or dentist appointments and all the money we get from the fundraiser goes to them,” Flores said. “TLC has been going on for years and so has our fundraiser. Both should stay running to help students in need in the community for years to come.”


During the first week of March, ASB members went around campus every fourth period and collected donations from students participating in the fundraiser accepting nickels, dollars, and anything else that the kids could provide as part of the school-wide segment of the competition.


ASB Pep/Spirit/Assembly Leader Simran Rai, a senior who was also one of the few donation collectors, emphasizes the importance of donating regardless of the amount of money students may have and believes that they can make an impact by just giving a few cents.


“It’s important to donate because every little bit adds up,” Rai said, “especially at a school with 4,000 students along with the fact that there are about 135 students from DHS that benefit from this program and its services.”


Donator Hendrick Recarte, 11, shares similar opinions about the importance of donating and expresses how he felt contributing to the cause.


“When I gave my donation, I was really glad to know that I was helping a student just like myself,” Recarte said. “I know that some kids may think that a little extra change isn’t going to make a difference, but it actually does and they should still donate if they can.”


The fundraiser does not stop there. Once donations were collected students were able to nominate teachers that they would like to see compete with two eventually going against each other in the end. The teacher garnering the highest amount of money wins the grand prize which includes a free day off and receiving $250 that can be used for a class party of their choice.


In the past, Downey High has been able to surpass its annual goal, but this year ASB hoped that their March Madness fundraiser could bring in even more donations in order to support TLC and its purpose to help students attending schools within the Downey Unified School District.


Senior Laylah Gorlero, who is the ASB Commissioner of Campus and Community, explains how crucial it is that the school steps up their game and exceeds their annual goal of $40,000 if possible.


“It would be totally awesome if we reached our goal of $40,000. We’ve exceeded this goal a couple of years ago and we’re determined to try and beat it again,” Gorlero said. “No matter what happens though, every penny we raise will be put to use and will help a student in need.”


In total, Downey’s ASB raised over $14,000 with their March Madness Fundraiser which will be donated to TLC and allocated towards providing students with basic necessities. As of Friday March 23, the teacher raising the most money and winning the grand prize was Mr. Karzen garnering over $2,800. ASB continued to collect donations until Thursday the 22 and  encouraged students to give whatever they could to support the program.