San Benito High School students in Interact Club came together to wrap pajamas purchased by staff members who sponsored a child. 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.