Cheers for Children provides a holiday meal for 375 families

Ventura+Unified+School+District+volunteers+packed+boxes+on+Friday+to+give+to+families+who+need+a+holiday+meal.+Credit%3A+Josh+Ren%2FThe+Foothill+Dragon+Press

Ventura Unified School District volunteers packed boxes on Friday to give to families who need a holiday meal. Credit: Josh Ren/The Foothill Dragon Press

Ela Yasa

Ventura Unified School District volunteers packed boxes on Friday to give to families who need a holiday meal. Credit: Josh Ren/The Foothill Dragon Press
Ventura Unified School District volunteers packed boxes on Friday to give to families who need a holiday meal. Credit: Josh Ren/The Foothill Dragon Press

Many volunteers gathered in the cafeteria of Balboa Middle School on December 20 in order the help with the 61st annual Cheers for Children drive.

Superintendent of Ventura Unified School District and Chairperson of the Cheers for Children drive for 26 years, Dr. Trudy Arriaga, said, “Cheers for Children is an annual drive, and it is a drive to provide Ventura Unified School District who happen to be in need this year with a large box of food.”

Cheers for Children will be providing food for the holidays for 375 families throughout the district. The boxes include fresh produce, canned food, dry foods, and much more.

The volunteers brought in the food, sent in monetary donations, set up the cafeteria for the drive, packed the boxes, and organized the boxes.

Foothill held their first annual “Stop Hunger Games” for two weeks, where pods competed against each other to see who could make the most food donations for the Cheers for Children drive. With the I-pod as the victor, Foothill collected and contributed a total amount of 818 boxes to the drive.

Freshman Jayne Abbe was one of the many volunteers packing boxes after school on Friday.

“I feel really great that I get to be helping other people that are less fortunate than I am this Christmas,” Abbe said.

Natalie Wallis, a Speech Pathologist at Poinsettia Elementary School and the Early Intervention Center was also a volunteer.

“It’s a great thing for the community, and it’s just a wonderful thing to get everybody together and help out,” Wallis said.

Arriaga talked about the importance of the Cheers for Children drive to the community.

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At the end of the drive, Arriaga congratulated all of the volunteers on their help and a job well done, and everyone walked out the cafeteria truly feeling the giving joy of the holiday.

“As the Superintendent, it gives me great joy and satisfaction to know that 375 Ventura Unified families are going to have a happier holiday because of the service and the gifts that the Ventura Unified Provided,” Arriaga said.

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