Santa Clarita rewarded Charles Helmers Elementary School students Friday for their charitable efforts as part of the city’s 30th birthday celebration.
In addition to a DJ, cake and a variety of emergency responder vehicles students could climb around on, the students were celebrated by Santa Clarita City Council members for taking part in a communitywide charitable effort that won them the city’s “30 Things for 30 Years” birthday party contest.
“We are tremendously proud of Helmers and all of our schools who participated in the ‘30 Things for 30 Years’ contest,” said Superintendent Joan Lucid. “The kindness and compassion that our students showed is very heartening.”
Elementary school students and groups across the city were challenged to celebrate three decades of cityhood with a project that was 30-themed.
Charles Helmers students collaborated on a week of giving where they donated to 30 charities and organizations in Santa Clarita, including stuffed animals for children at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital and pet supplies for animal shelters.
The students ended up generating more than 4,000 donations, according to Helmers Principal Pete Bland.
“It was supervised by parents but our students ran the donation drive, they helped collect the donations, and it took place over five days out in front of our school,” Bland said. “And some of the students also went and delivered the donated items to the charities, such as the Food Pantry and the Animal Shelter.”
Bland said the sense of togetherness and working for a common goal the city-inspired project built among the children was also appreciated by the teachers, administrators, parents and even students involved. Not just collecting, but in some cases distributing the donations, really made a difference in the impact, he noted.
“I really think, No. 1, they learned a sense of community because we really brought the Helmers community together, but they also learned about giving back to the community, which I thought was a really neat idea,” he said. “We live in a day when kids are really bound to electronics, about it was really great to see them giving back.”