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High School Senior Establishes Donation Drive

Sep 26, 2015 05:20PM ● By Jennifer Neys

By Jaki Jones

Alhambra High School senior Alicia Marazzani is collecting school supplies, backpacks, gift cards and other items to give to students at Middletown High School who lost their homes in the recent Valley Fire.

“I realized that their basic needs are being met by the Red Cross and people donating, and that’s important, but these kids aren’t going to have a life to go back to if we don’t help them, so I am driving for new school supplies, new and gently used packs, semi-formal wear, and gift cards to school supply and sporting goods stores to get them back into day-to-day life,” she said.

While listening to the news reports, Alicia was struck by the losses of not only the families, but also the students that will miss a significant high school experience: Homecoming.  “I saw kids my age talking on the news saying, ‘Homecoming’s been cancelled’, and if this happened in Martinez I don’t know what we would do. It’s so unifying for us, and we really come together at that time of year. Middletown is much smaller, so this must be a huge deal. I felt really bad for them,” she said.  Alicia also learned that players on the high school football and volleyball teams lost jerseys and gear in the fire, creating an additional reason to give.  She is also collecting semi-formal dresses to help provide something to wear when the Homecoming dance is rescheduled.

Once Alicia received approval from her leadership teacher, Mrs. Griffin, and Principal Tom Doppe to organize a collection at school, she contacted the Middletown principal, Bill Roderick, who lost his own home to the Valley Fire, to ask what they needed. She then commenced a social media campaign to help the fire victims.

“I tried contacting everyone I’ve ever talked to see if they could help somehow spread the word, and we got the word out and it got pretty big. Other schools and leadership programs started contacting me to see how they could help, and we’ve spread into Mt. Diablo Unified School district. This is the first time I’ve really done anything this big”.

This month, Alicia will drive to Middletown High School with the school supplies and gift card donations.  The homecoming dresses and sporting goods will be delivered later.

If you would like to help, collection barrels can be found at the following schools: John Muir Elementary, John Swett Elementary, Morello Elementary, Martinez Junior HS, Alhambra High, and the MUSD office. The Mt. Diablo Unified School District schools include: Ygnacio Valley High School, Concord High School, Sequoia Middle School, and Hidden Valley Elementary.


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