The Folsom HS Hands4Hope Club chose to benefit youth with special needs this year. The opportunity for hosting an inclusion event at their own school was definitely a deciding factor in choosing to team up with the FHS special education department as their project beneficiary. The club raised $250 in December anticipating a Valentine’s Dance but had to change course due to ongoing Covid resticitions. Instead they created over 400 personalized Valentine’s Grams and delivered them to students in special education classes. In addition, they hosted a March Spring Fling Social and with the generous support of Sacramento Sourdough & Co and Rob Webb and friends, they hosted over 60 special and general education students for food, dancing and games!
“The challenging part of the project was considering restrictions due to Covid. Planning a big dance then having to cancel it. And using treats we had for the dance to make Valentine grams for the students instead. I am glad how it turned out because seeing the students' faces light up when their name was called for a Valentine gram was rewarding to me.”- Eadora Hormozi, Folsom High Hands4Hope Club Secretary
“The Spring Social was so fun! As a club, we had so much fun planning it and we were so lucky that we had all the food donated to us by donors who were willing to donate! The special ed kids definitely had a lot of fun and there wasn’t a face in that room without a smile on it. We got to meet a lot of new people and got to hang out with people whom we normally wouldn’t usually hang out with. There were some new friendships formed and that is what the social was all about.” - Harini Krishnan, Folsom High Hands4Hope Club Vice President
The Oakridge Inspire Hands4Hope Club planned and hosted an April 23 a Big Brothers/Big Sisters Easter Festival with a goal to bring together “littles” (kids waiting for a big brother/sister) and “bigs” (adults on the waiting list) while they wait to be matched. Inspired to help after hearing matches can take a while, the club created a fun day to be shared.
“The Big Brothers Big Sisters event clearly demonstrated the capabilities of youth leadership. The event was beautifully executed, with kids attending having a blast and a great opportunity to bond with Hands4Hope volunteers as well as their adult mentors. Overall the great variety of games and activities ran smoothly and were fun for everyone attending. Being able to participate in planning the event and then later seeing the event come together was a wonderful experience!” - Tarika Kahlon
“The event felt so rewarding. I loved seeing all the kids become more outgoing as the morning progressed. This is an event I would be happy to do again especially after hearing all the appreciative comments from the “bigs”! - Sonya Alexis
The Oakridge Empower Hands4Hope Club pooled their creative ideas to shape a fun family event called Crafts4Critters to raise money for the Sierra Wildlife Rescue. For an entry fee of $7, attendees were able to participate in a variety of animal themed art projects and activities. Sierra Wildlife Ambassador and guest of honor "Lionel" , a Great Horned owl, was also in attendance during this event. ReThink Icecream provided their delicious ice cream for participants once they finished their art activities.
“It was great to see all of our ideas set into action and the creativity of all the kids! I especially loved the photo booth and seeing the parents so proud of what the kids made.” - Jasmine Schwartz
“It was really cool to see all the hard work, time, and effort put in to make this event happen. There is a tone of creativity at our school and it was super awesome to see it utilized for a good cause!” - Mahee
The Camerado Springs Middle School Hands4Hope Club hosted a car wash at Burke's Junction to benefit All About Equine. The car wash was held on March 26. All About Equine is a non-profit organization that mostly aids horses, but it has also assisted other animals in the past. The club decided to presell tickets to the carwash as well as advertise the event around Cameron Park. Pre-sale tickets brought in a little over $500 and the day of the event we raised $534. The total amount of money raised for All About Equine was $1,081.
This year, the Ponderosa High School Hands4Hope Club decided to help those who lost their homes in the Caldor fire by hosting two drives this school year (the Caldor Cozy Drive and the Caldor Collection Drive) as well as volunteer at the Grizzly Feast and the April Caldor Fire Distribution event held at Pioneer School. Items collected at the Caldor Cozy Drive included winter hats, gloves and scarves and the Caldor Collection Drive focused on paper products such as toilet paper, kleenex, paper towels and feminine hygiene products. The items collected were distributed at each of the events mentioned above.
The Rolling Hills Middle and Sutter Middle Hands4Hope Clubs collaborated this year with a common goal to benefit children and teens living with long-term illness. They worked together to help a young Placerville boy diagnosed with a brain tumor turn his bedroom and playroom into “Dream Rooms'' through the non-profit Sweet Dreams Foundation. On a Saturday in April, 20 plus youth from the two Hands4Hope clubs spent their first day of Spring Break at Chaz’s house in Placerville to help turn his bedroom and playroom into a Dream Room.They organized toys, built furniture, decorated and did yard work as a way to show Chaz, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor, that there are youth, much like himself, who care and are pulling for him.
In addition, both clubs worked on other projects to help the Sweet Dreams Foundation! The club at Sutter Middle hosted a coin/cash drive and raised over $3,200 and the Rolling Hills participants specialty wrapped 60 Roos Wraps, a product given to medically fragile infants and toddlers. They included handmade good wish cards with each wrap.
“It was awesome seeing the smile on Chaz’s face, and sometimes it even helped us out.” - Sofia Lara
“It made me feel really good to do something for Chaz, he really needed it. It makes me happy we did something good for somebody" - Hayden Fischer
"This made me feel happy doing this for Chaz, seeing his smile on his face when we did this special work for him.” - Izzy Smith
The Marina Middle Hands4Hope Club delivered $700 worth of toys to patients at the U.C. Davis Pediatric Heart Center by hosting a Pastries In The Park fundraiser and working at a school dance. The fundraiser sold morning treats to parents and students at a nearby park before school on April 20. With the funds raised, club participants used part of their spring break to purchase items off of the U.C. Davis Wish List and deliver the gifts to the hospital!
“It was like driving a car. It started off slow, and picked up speed very quickly!” - Murc Del Dotto
“It was fun, but it mostly felt good to know we made a difference” - Audrey Ballard
The Folsom Middle Hands4Hope Club voted to benefit the Folsom Zoo Sanctuary after researching wildlife rescue efforts in the local area. They raised over $300 and collected over 60 items to be used for enrichment activities for animals at the zoo, including Olive, a newly rescued young bear. Items included natural foods such as peanut butter and nuts as well as boxes and paper products on the zoo’s wish list. They were treated to a tour by the Friends of Folsom Zoo Sanctuary President to see the enrichment toys in use when they delivered a check and items in April.