Dec. 22, 2023
San Lorenzo Unified School District school communities, employees, community partners and the district’s Family Resource Center (FRC) have all been preparing and sharing essential items and holiday extras for families within the greater San Lorenzo area.
These efforts have included student food drives at Bay and Corvallis elementaries, Bohannon Middle and Arroyo High schools; Toy collections at Arroyo High and the San Lorenzo Adult School; a sock drive by the San Lorenzo Education Association; and a warm clothing drive organized by local Realtors to benefit families served by the FRC. The FRC and school community liaisons also hosted its Winter Market at the Lewelling Campus on Dec. 13, distributing new and donated clothing, toys, books and seasonal treats to about 75 invited families experiencing housing instability.
Another growing effort coordinated by the FRC involves inviting departmental teams in the SLZUSD District Office to sponsor a total of 11 families experiencing extreme hardship. Employees purchased and wrapped gifts that are suited to each family member.
The FRC continues to be the primary hub for these efforts, including coordinating with the Girls With the Curls real estate firm on a “Coats and Churros” campaign that collected enough warm clothing to fill six large garbage bags. Selected items were shared during the Winter Market, including 200 coats – most received through the
One Warm Coat program – as well as stylish new sweats that the FRC purchased with grant funds. Student Support Services also was able to provide 75 families with vouchers to participate in the Davis Street Community Center’s holiday gift program. The San Lorenzo Family Help Center also provided several bicycles, as did some of the departmental teams.
Amani Dunham, who coordinates Student Support Services, expressed thanks for all who participated in the Winter Market, including the San Lorenzo Library, which set up a Kids Zone activities area, the family outreach program La Familia, students in the La Raza Club at San Lorenzo High School and the entire office staff at Edendale Middle School, among others.
“It’s been a win-win all the way around,” Dunham said. “The families were completely overwhelmed and some even moved to tears. Every staff person who’s participated has found it to be a bonding experience with their colleagues. There’s just been a lot of goodwill generated.”