SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY, CA- A group of students at Weston Ranch High School driven by the “Christmas spirit” decided to extend their holiday enthusiasm and bring joy to families in need—only a few days away from their final exams.
As a new chapter of El Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (M.E.Ch.A.), a national student organization that promotes higher education, culture, and history, the students donated their time singing Christmas carols over Christmas weekend to residents of the retirement home, Prestige Senior Living in Manteca, and held a coin drive for two weeks that raised over $500—money donated to the Stockton Homeless Shelter.
“Many times, we take for granted everything that we have and everything that is given to us,” said Valente Aguilar, Spanish teacher and M.E.Ch.A. advisor.
“It was amazing helping out the community, especially at the homeless shelter, seeing all of those people happy when we were there serving them food,” said eleventh grader and M.E.Ch.A. chair, Ivan Abarca.
In addition, the students asked local businesses to donate food so that they can take it to the shelter and also helped deliver warm coats to the residents in need.
“M.E.Ch.A. has helped me become more organized as a student and it has also helped me out with my leadership skills,” said Abarca.
All of this was done the weekend before the students took their final exams and left for their winter vacation.
“The exposure to universities, colleges, and events in the community will create well-rounded individuals who strive to become something in life,” said Aguilar.
M.E.Ch.A. consists of hundreds of chapters in Universities, Community Colleges, and High Schools across the nation and now Weston Ranch High School will be added to the list.