Teachers, staff and parents at Medeiros Elementary in Turlock teamed up with employees from Winton-Ireland, Strom & Green Insurance Agency to provide 14 needy students a holiday season with warm clothes on their backs.
The teachers and Winton-Ireland employees raised $1,400 so each of the children could attend a $100 clothing shopping spree at Kohl’s in Turlock, which was held Wednesday evening.
Kathie Coates, mother of Medeiros Elementary student Jessie Coates, was nearly moved to tears when she talked about the giving hearts of her son’s teachers.
“This is phenomenal, I am just so grateful and thankful for these teachers. They care so much, they are so dedicated to their students and they have such warm hearts. We’ve had to move three times but we keep Jessie at Medeiros because of the teachers there. They are a good group of people.”
Sadly, this Christmas will likely be a hard-candy Christmas for the Coates family. Kathie explained that she and her husband were laid off from their jobs earlier this year.
“Here we are just two weeks from Christmas and we don’t have any presents under the tree and my unemployment has run out,” she said.
For Medeiros teacher Tanya White the biggest present she receives is the reaction from the students. “The best part is the day after the shopping spree when the kids come to school and they have huge smiles on their faces. They are so full of confidence in their new clothes and they feel like a million bucks,” she said.
While Medeiros students may not have as much of a need as most local schools, White explained that there is a need.
“In this economy, there is a need everywhere, people of all walks of life are hurting,” she said.
One student, fourth grader Julio Torres, appreciated the shopping spree so much that he made the teachers a thank you card. Julio is an accelerated star reader and a math master at Medeiros. His third grade teacher and shopping partner Aimee Hendrix said he is an outstanding student and she noted that he is also an English learner. Julio was outfitted with some new Vans shoes, socks, shirts, sweaters, Raiders pajama pants (a must have!), pants and sweaters.
Hendrix and White were appreciative of the donation from Winton-Ireland.
“What they did was really cool, everyone there chipped in — from the guy who makes $100,000 to the people who make minimum wage. We are so thankful for them helping us,” said Hendrix.
White also noted that Kohl’s will donate $500 so the students can come back in the spring and get lighter clothing.
To contact Jonathan McCorkell, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.