EL MONTE – A steady flow of Shirpser School families – spaced to ensure safety – visited a series of booths at the campus on Sept. 21 to collect much-needed backpacks, school supplies, new clothes and even teddy bears during a special donation event hosted by L.A. nonprofit Baby2Baby.
Over four hours, the families of some 550 students at the El Monte City School District school gathered supplies, which included diapers and baby wipes for families needing additional resources.
“We are excited to work with Baby2Baby to ensure our families receive the materials they need during these unsettled times,” Shirpser Principal Veronica Ortiz said. “These packs ensure students have everything they need to succeed at school, and it helps their families to have additional clothing, hygiene and baby items.”
Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis presented Ortiz with an official commendation for staging the socially distanced event.
El Monte City hosted the walk-through program as a convenience to local residents, many of whom do not have cars. Families wearing masks entered the school one at a time after having their temperatures checked, then proceeded to four booths to receive donations.
Baby2Baby Co-presidents Kelly Sawyer Patricof and Norah Weinstein greeted families, presenting students with a backpack in their favorite color, then filling the backpack with supplies, including markers, scissors, colored pencils, erasers, a notebook and a water bottle.
Students also received a bundle of new clothes, a Build-A-Bear teddy bear and, upon request, families received diapers and baby wipes. Students enjoyed an ice cream treat as they left.
Shirpser parent Kelly Hernandez, whose daughter Annie is in transitional kindergarten, appreciated the opportunity to receive essential resources.
“It’s a wonderful thing the school is doing, especially with the COViD-19 pandemic and families struggling to make ends meet,” Hernandez said. “It’s been a challenge for all of us, so it’s heartening to see so many people coming together to help the community.”
Baby2Baby has distributed more than 100 million items to children in need across the nation over the last nine years.
“We greatly appreciate what Baby2Baby is doing, how much they respect the families they are serving, the attention to detail in getting everyone exactly what they need. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen,” Garcia said. “They bring so much integrity and love. I thank Kelly and Norah for working with us on behalf of the El Monte City community.”
In 2019, Shirpser School was recognized as a Leader in Me Lighthouse school, one of only 300 schools worldwide to earn Lighthouse certification for the program that practices the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” for academic and personal success.
EMCSD_092220_BACKPACK1: Shirpser School students show off teddy bears during a special donation event held at the school on Sept. 21. L.A. nonprofit Baby2Baby provided El Monte City families with backpacks, school supplies, new clothes, and other necessities to help District families meet their back-to-school needs.
EMCSD_092220_BACKPACK2: A Shirpser School student gives a thumbs up as she accepts a backpack in her favorite color, one of nearly 550 El Monte City students to receive much-needed back-to-school supplies from L.A. nonprofit Baby2Baby during a special donation event at the school on Sept. 21.
EMCSD_092220_BACKPACK3: L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis presents Shirpser School Principal Veronica Ortiz with a commendation during a special donation event held at the school on Sept. 21. Pictured from left to right are Baby2Baby Co-presidents Kelly Sawyer Patricof and Norah Weinstein (wearing face shields), Solis, Ortiz, and El Monte City Superintendent Dr. Maribel Garcia.