Santa and his Franklin and Coronado elves brought a sleigh full of toys and goodies for children at Travis this week.
The student councils of the rival West Side high schools joined efforts for their annual Holiday Blessings Drive, collecting a box full of gifts for each student at Travis. The elves told the students they could shake or hold the gifts but made them promise not to open their six or seven presents until Christmas morning.
“I’ve never gotten a lot of presents,” said fifth grader Arielle Camargo. “I feel happy.”
Students and faculty and staff at Coronado and Franklin and their feeder campuses got lists of needs and wants from students. Pajamas, socks, clothes and other necessities were wrapped up for them along with toys to give them a whole package of Christmas presents.
“We have a lot of parents who are struggling financially and this is such an uplifting thing for our students,” principal Armando Llanos said.
The Blessings Drive has become a tradition for the two campuses. They join together to help pass out the gifts and carry the boxes for the younger children and talk about some of the goodies inside the box.
“I absolutely love doing this every year. It’s my most favorite part of the job in Student Council,” said Eleanor Schoenbrun, Franklin StuCo secretary. “I love that we are able to unite and bring our two Student Councils together because that means we can make a bigger impact on our community and we can help form the next generation of change makers.”
The Student Councils also united to wrap gifts over the weekend and organize the boxes.
“I think it’s one of our most important projects,” said Nicholas Gonzalez, Franklin StuCo secretary. “We are able to really affect these kids’ Christmas. It’s great to see them light up when they see all the boxes and their toys and gifts.”
The Franklin and Coronado kids left Travis with a lasting impression and lots of smiles.
“I’ve seen smiles on students who don’t normally smile,” Llanos said. “We really appreciate everything Franklin and Coronado did for our school – especially bringing the their students to help.”
Fifth grader Cesar Lopez couldn’t help but smile as he rummaged through his box: “I’m so happy. We’re very thankful.”