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SBHS students team up with staff to bring holiday cheer

Interact Club creates Pajama Drive to help children in need.
SBHS teacher Michele Blankenship (second from left) stated, “We are happy to have the opportunity to participate in this worthy cause for the children of Chamberlains.” Photo by Becky Bonner.
Interact Club member Alissa Tortorelli proudly stands by the wrapped pajamas. Photo by Becky Bonner.
Chamberlain's Program Coordinator Gracie Lucatero expressed appreciation for the support felt by the club and community. Photo by Becky Bonner.

For the past two years, students of the San Benito High School Interact Club have teamed up with teachers and staff on campus to make the holidays a little cozier for children at Chamberlain’s Children Center in Hollister.

What started as a brainstorming session on ways to give back to the community for the holiday season turned into the Pajama Drive, when former club president Karina Collins suggested bringing her own family’s holiday tradition to the children at Chamberlain’s.

“I know that Christmas is a time where most people are so excited and happy to get new things, but these kids don’t always have the opportunity for that,” Collins said. “In my family it’s a tradition to get new pajamas on Christmas to wear the rest of the day all together, so I wanted to share the fun by giving the kids at Chamberlain’s some pajamas too.”

Interact Club, which is a national organization, works alongside the local Rotary Chapter to find ways to support and give back to their community through service projects.

Excited to help, the club’s next step was figuring out how to purchase pajamas for all of the children.

Believing SBHS staff would take an interest in the project, club members reached out to see if they were interested in sponsoring a child.

“Without the teacher’s [and staff’s] help we wouldn’t be able to provide gifts for the students,” said Clarissa Corona, current Interact Club president. “It’s an excellent way for them to be involved in our community.”

This year even more staff became sponsors. Nineteen children will be receive fresh pajamas this holiday season.

“We are happy to have the opportunity to participate in this worthy cause for the children of Chamberlain’s,” said sponsor Michele Blankenship.

As staff members dropped off their newly purchased gifts to Interact Club, club members came together to wrap the gifts that were delivered Dec. 14.

Students organized gifts and checked lists twice to make sure every child would have a bag to open on Christmas Day.

“It’s a fantastic feeling to know that the students will feel appreciated by their community,” Corona said.

Larry Barr, the club’s local Rotarian adviser, said, “Every year that I advise Interact, I think that there is no way they can improve on their prior year’s success and every year they prove me wrong. What a wonderful extension of Rotary.”

Note: Becky Bonner is the Interact Club Adviser on campus.



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bjbonner22's picture
Becky Bonner (bjbonner22)

Becky Bonner is a local teacher at San Benito High School who is passionate about sharing things to do in San Benito County.


This group of energetic students continue to amaze and delight us at all they can accomplish!  The Chamberlain staff, board of directors and especially the kids send a great BIG "THANK YOU!!!!" to you all.  Thank you to the teachers and staff who donated funds for the purchases and to the students to come up with the fantastic and caring idea and do a great job seeing it through!  They even wrapped everything!  WOW, these future leaders will continue to go far, reaching for the stars and succeeding in all that they do. 

Thank you!!!

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