Letters to the Editor

Community comes to aid of less fortunate students

On behalf of the Boulder City High School counseling department, comprised of registrar Barb Agostini and counselors Sharon DeWees and me, I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the Boulder City organizations and faith communities for their overwhelming support and assistance with our less fortunate students this holiday season. What began as a conversation with St. Andrews religious education coordinator Jenifer Jeffries about the harsh realities many of our BCHS students face daily, turned into a food and gift card donation that absolutely stunned us!

To answer the public’s disbelieving questions, yes, we have homeless youth in Boulder City. Yes, we have minors living without parents. Yes, we have families that live in RVs, tents, motels or are doubled up with other families.

Although there are outreach organizations aimed at helping said population, the youth organizations are located in Las Vegas, making them out of reach for our teens. Although BC Emergency Aid is a wonderful resource with generous, kind volunteers, their hours of operation are during the school day. To combat hunger and clothing challenges, we operate a food pantry and clothing closet in our office, and, yes, it is used regularly.

Annually, we collect gift cards, donated by BCHS staff members, for local fast-food restaurants, grocery stores and large discount chain stores and distribute them to our neediest students at the holidays. When Jenifer Jeffries heard about this, she jumped right on board. Father Bob Stoeckig from St. Andrews Catholic Community bolstered support and urged his parish to participate; “participate” is the understatement of the year!

St. Andrew’s parish whole heartedly embraced our students and collected an enormous amount of gift cards, food and toiletry items and organized them all for easy distribution. Tim Tilman from St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church heard about our card drive and produced a large donation from his church. The BC Community Club then called our office and offered a donation, followed up by a call from BC Emergency Aid with toiletry donations.

In all we were able to help more than 25 students at Boulder City High School, a few students at Garrett Junior High School, and we still have a nice store of items we can dole out to students throughout the year as needed. As I stated, we were all stunned by the generosity and outpouring of support from this community.

Many times, people want to give to small children and see the glow of joy on their faces, thus receiving thanks for their charity. Although small children definitely benefit from such acts, the type of charity we received from the community this year is truly selfless.

The donors will never see the tears of joy and surprise from the recipients of these gifts. These students were so thankful and unsuspecting of any generosity. For most of these youth, life is rather unkind and they’ve had a marginalized existence; to be considered and receive a gift means so much to them. To see a young person excited about deodorant, body wash, a Pit Stop lunch is truly a testament to how fortunate the rest of us are and our need for gratitude and generosity.

Thank you, Boulder City, for being so kind and giving to our youth. You made a difference!

Rebecca Balistere

BCHS Counselor

See Spot Run thanks all who donated to their Emergency Aid Food Drive

A huge thanks to everyone who responded to the call for donations for our annual pet food drive for our local Emergency Aid. See Spot Run collected donations from Nov. 20 through Dec. 24 and collected more than 400 pounds of food for dogs and cats.

This superseded our previous year’s donation, and See Spot Run hopes each year surpasses the previous years. Although See Spot Run collects pet food donations during the holidays, Emergency Aid could use the food year round.

Put them on your 2015 to-do list. We know firsthand how much each and every donation is appreciated. Thank you for all your support.

See Spot Run Inc.

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