By Riley Donahue,
With annual canned food drives during the holiday season, many students and teachers decide to bring in canned foods for underprivileged families in the Yolo County area. In the spirit of giving, English teacher Eleanor Neagley has her homeroom class take their charity one step further.
For several years, Neagley’s fourth period class has “adopted” a family to sponsor through S.T.E.A.C. (Short Term Emergency Aid Committee) in an effort to bring their charity to a more personal level. This year was no different, as her fourth period has just finished their work.
“We have the names of all of the people in the family and their ages, and what they needed,” Neagley said. “It was quite an undertaking because I was asking a lot more of the kids.”
The students were broken off into groups to each account for one of the family members. Each member of the family listed something that they really wanted to get from the charity, and that group was responsible for getting that and maybe a few extra items.
“There were 400 families from Davis who [needed] this kind of help, and so adopting one of them I think really brings home the message: ‘Not everyone’s as affluent as most of us are,’” Neagley said.
Junior Ryan Tinsley was happy to have gotten the opportunity to help out a family on a more personal level than the routine canned food drive.
“It was way more personal because we got to know all of the people’s names and ages and the whole family instead of just donating a bunch of cans to the school,” Tinsley said.
Junior Chris Roeckl-Navazio was also glad to have contributed to the donations, having led her specific group, responsible for the gifts for the 21-year-old daughter, Monica.
“I thought it was really fun. My family has [adopted] a S.T.E.A.C. family before, and it just makes you happy [because] you’re able to share the holiday experience with other people,” Roeckl-Navazio said.
By the time the class was finished collecting everything to bring to the First Baptist Church for the donation, they had amassed tons of gifts and food to be donated including jackets, coats, purses, footballs, lotion, canned food, chips, cupcakes, and much more.
“I think kids just need to be lead. It’s amazing what they do when their eyes are open,” Neagley said.