There were just as many people happy to pick up the coats to distribute to the children as there were dropping them off. | Photo courtesy SISD
Socorro Independent School District’s ‘Winter Warm Up coat drive’ was once again a success as employees united donate coats, jackets and other essential winter items to students within the district as part of the holiday initiative.
Employees sponsored more than 50 students with a coat and a winter item, such as a beanie, scarf, or gloves. The items then were distributed safely via a drive-up service at SISD Police Services to school staff who would deliver them to the students at their campuses or directly to the parents of the students.
“There is always a desire to help our students and even this year with the pandemic, we knew that we still had to do this,” said Maya Kirtley, SISD Public Relations specialist, who helps coordinate the yearly event.
SISD police officer Denise Holguin echoed the same sentiments as she stopped by to drop off her donations on the way to her shift.
“These families probably need the money for other things right now due to hardships from the pandemic,” Holguin said. “To clothe someone and make them be happy, warm, and secure is great.”
SISD Instructional Technology specialist Omar Sifuentes also was happy to drop off his contribution.
“This is awesome because we all need to do our part to help out the people who need us most,” Sifuentes said.
Adam Starke, SISD director of State and Federal Programs, said it was especially important during this time to remember how fortunate we are despite the difficulties that have happened this past year.
“We really need to remember that and make sure that we use our blessings to bless others and keep ever mindful of the needs of others,” Starke said.
That same spirit of giving brought Brenda Gonzalez, Career and Technical Education business and industry coordinator for SISD, to donate to the Winter Warm Up.
“The reason I participated in the winter coat drive is because I know that the need in our community and in our school district is high,” Gonzalez said. “I know there are parents who’ve gotten COVID or who have lost their jobs. So, I feel super blessed to have my own job and I want to be a blessing in any form or shape that I can be this year. That was my goal for this Christmas.”
There were just as many people happy to pick up the coats to distribute to the children as there were dropping them off.
“This just brings a little bit of Christmas cheer into the lives of these students and their families.” said Edward Martinez, a school counselor at Loma Verde Elementary. “To be a small part in this process makes me feel really good. I’ve been doing this for years now as a school counselor and any little thing like a coat, gloves, or hat always helps, especially during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Cynthia Reynoso, a schools and community coordinator at Purple Heart Elementary, was happy to receive the clothing donations for her campus and said this is an important and teachable moment.
“I think no matter what we should always want to give regardless of an ongoing pandemic or not,” Reynoso said. “I think it teaches our students that you can be kind in any situation and that’s what we want to show them, to always have an open heart.”