Kids Helping Kids utilized a variety of donations from the community and money raised from various fundraisers to fund the sacred trip over the years. Two of the greatest contributors to the cause this year were the Associated Student Body and the PHS student store, which donated $600 apiece for the effort. The money was spent at the Kohl’s branch in Turlock, where students were able to pick out items for distribution.
Last year, KHK’s efforts raised more than $8,000, which helped 50 children secure gifts for the winter festivities. This year, 82 children were able to experience the true meaning of the holiday spirit, thanks to the determination put on by the West Side community, the 30-plus active club members and Diane Peterson, PHS teacher and group coordinator.
After gathering their resources, students were escorted by over 80 chaperons to the shopping facility, where they were welcomed by Khol’s staff. Among the list of volunteers were Anne and Josie Hazelton, who supervised the event while away from the high school’s campus.
After securing enough presents, the students headed back to a special pizza party, located in the PHS cafeteria. Santa Claus was waiting in the wing for the kids return, and sat with a number of thankful children after they had munched pizza.
“I’ve never seen such happy, appreciative kids as I saw tonight,” Santa said that evening.
Mary Brandt acted as Santa’s toy helper, while Mary Crawford helped with the holiday decorations.
Peterson said the event was a total success, and thanked her students, fellow teachers, volunteers and chaperons immensely for all their support.
“This was all because of an amazing community making it possible,” said Peterson. “Eighty-two kids got to experience the true meaning of Christmas, thanks to this great community… It takes a village to raise a child, and this village made a difference in these children’s lives... Thank you.”
Contact the Patterson Irrigator at 892-6187 or firstname.lastname@example.org.