Downey H.E.L.P.S


Students gather canned food and toys during their fourth period to help the needy during the holiday season at the annual food and toy drive that was held Oct 31- Nov 21. “I am so happy to be able to help someone in need at this year’s Canned Food and Toy drive,” senior Stephanie Montes said.

Marilyn Ramirez, Copy Editor/Co-Editor-in-Chief

Toys and canned goods began piling in room T-2 as the annual Food and Toy Drive was held from Oct. 31 – Nov. 21 with hopes of receiving a minimum of fifteen thousand items.  Although orchestrated by the PTA, ASB conducts much of the advertising and collecting. The event was publicized by the morning announcements, encouraging students to take part and bring in cans to their fourth period classroom. ASB hung posters all around campus for students to see that any help is accepted.


The fundraiser was off to a rocky start. By the first week, the amount counted was a mere 363 cans.  Students would either forget to bring in their items or decide not to for lack of extra-credit. ASB Commissioner of Campus and Community Service Jennifer Sicardi, 12, shared her concern about the lack of incoming goods.


“We need the student body to collect canned food items because we need to give back to families that will have little to eat during the holiday season,” Sicardi said.


In order to increase the numbers, the final collection date was pushed from Nov. 14 to Nov. 21. This produced a major change in the student body, allowing classes more time to bring in everything they could. Throughout the following week, students carried bags filled with soups, rice, and Mac N’ Cheese, just to name a few. C, 11, was one of the many dedicated students who took part in the cause.


“Although I was offered extra-credit, it felt good to help. Other students should definitely participate,” Reising stated.


Teachers, like Ms. Dolores Flores, encouraged students to contribute to the drive out of the goodness of their heart, rather than for the boosting of their grades.


“When you see kids bringing in food for people who don’t have as much as we do, it’s really nice to know that extra-credit isn’t the only way to get Downey to make a difference,” Flores said.


By Nov. 8, over 2,600 items were donated. Sicardi acknowledges that progress was going well, keeping in mind that today’s economy is not as good as it once was.


“Although originally my goal was 15,000 I understand it’s difficult, especially during tough times, but I’m still hoping for the best,” Sicardi said.


During its final efforts, Downey collected over 6,400 items altogether. All collections will go to the PTA Health Education Local Pantry Services (H.E.L.P.S) and be distributed to families in need.