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Local Teens Deliver Vanload of Gifts and Goodwill to Casa Esperanza

Youths from community agencies donate more than 300 coats and jackets and 500 food items.

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Alcohol & Drug Abuse Prevention Teen Coalition member Evelyn Aldapa, a CASA volunteer, Teen Programs staff member Kenyon Williams, La Cuesta student Armianka Sanchez, volunteer Maleny Huerta and Youth Council member Alicia Flores deliver food and clothing to Casa Esperanza. (Roberta Payán / Alcohol & Drug Abuse Prevention Teen Coalition photo)

Teens from several youth-serving community agencies delivered more than 300 warm coats and jackets to Casa Esperanza along with 500 donated food items to help during these hard times.

Led by Teen Programs in partnership with Girls Empowerment, the Santa Barbara Youth Council, the Alcohol & Drug Abuse Prevention Teen Coalition, La Cuesta High School, Future Leaders of America, City at Peace, the Twelve35 Teen Center and Santa Barbara High School’s Don Riderz, teens collected food and gently worn coats and jackets for those less fortunate in the community, specifically at Casa Esperanza.

“We could really use these donations, especially the coats and jackets,” said Kitti Sisley, the women’s wellness and safety program coordinator for Casa Esperanza, when she saw the van full of donations delivered by the teen representatives. “It means a lot to the people we serve.”

Donations poured in at more than a dozen drop-off sites in the past month since the Girls Empowerment group decided to kick off its inaugural Warm Coat & Canned Food Drive in partnership with other youth groups in the city and county.

“It was very important to us that the community see the positive things that young people can do when they come together to help others in need,” La Cuesta senior Armianka Sanchez said. Her third-period class under Janet Goode won the school’s contest for the most donations, with 235 items of food donated for the drive, earning a pizza party on Friday, the last day before winter break.

“We’d like to thank Pizza Mizza for the generous donation of pizzas for the winning class at La Cuesta High School, all our community partners, everyone who donated food and clothing and especially the young people who not only thought of the project, but reached out to other teen and youth groups to maximize our resources; a true collaborative effort,” said Roberta Payan, ADAP coordinator, who helped the teens coordinate the drive. “Next year will be even bigger.”

For more information on upcoming projects and activities, click here or call Teen Programs at 805.897.2650.

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