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Students ready to learn thanks to Hands4Hope

By From page A3 | September 06, 2017

Hands4Hope volunteers Taylor and Kelly accept school supply donations from Eric Bergan with Rolling Hills Christian Church, left to right. Courtesy photo

Hands4Hope hosted its fourth annual School Supply Drive to benefit children in need in El Dorado and Sacramento counties, collecting essential school supplies for the 2017-18 school year. The drive collected 4,425 school supplies that went to 200 students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Hands4Hope youth leaders and volunteers worked with local businesses, agencies and community members to collect backpacks, notebooks, pencils, pens, water bottles and other school supplies. The drive was led by Taylor Smith, H4H School Supply Drive Youth Committee chair and Oak Ridge High School sophomore, who was mentored by Kelly McMillen, a recent ORHS graduate and the former committee chair for this event.

“It was an unbelievably eye-opening experience to see how the things that seem so simple to some people can make a world of a difference for others,” Smith said.

“I had a great time working behind the scenes on this project, but it really hit me when I got to personally interact with the students,” she explained. “There was one girl who was going into sixth grade; we walked around the whole room determined to find the perfect backpack. Finally we came across a navy blue Jansport backpack. I saw her whole face light up with joy and she swooped that backpack right up, completely unable to hold back her smile. I realized that this backpack may seem like nothing much to many people, but for this sweet girl it was everything in that moment. It is experiences like this that show me not only just how fortunate I am, but also how big of an impact I can have on someone else’s life, and I am so thankful for that.”

Thank you to the community members who participated in this drive for bringing joy and confidence to local students this year! Hands4Hope leaders and volunteers thank community members who participated in the drive as well as local partner businesses and agencies — Mercedes-Benz of El Dorado Hills, Rolling Hills Community Church, Lake Hills Covenant Church, Barber Jon’s, Simm’s Chiropractic and the Folsom Lake Earthquakes Soccer Club.

Hands4Hope is a non-profit, youth-driven service learning and outreach organization based in El Dorado County whose mission is to empower youth to make a positive difference in the world around them through exploration, action and leadership. Hands4Hope is comprised of youth volunteers ranging from kindergarten to 12th grade.

For more information about the School Supply Drive and/or Hands4Hope visit hands4hopeyouth.org or call the Hands4Hope Youth Center at (916) 294-7426.

Special to Village Life

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