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Roseville eighth graders donate 100 items to local family in need

Silverado Middle School students give gifts to Sutter’s Adopt-A-Family program
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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In less than two weeks, a group of eighth graders purchased and wrapped about 100 Christmas presents for a local family in need — including two bikes decorated with bows.

The students in Silverado Middle School’s National Junior Honor Society wanted to help those less unfortunate during the holiday season and brainstormed ideas, settling on Sutter Health Sacramento Sierra Region's Adopt-A-Family program.

“We found the biggest family we could, which is a family of nine (in Placer County),” said parent volunteer Shelby Renfeld.

The program has been around for 10 years and serves about 200 families throughout the greater Sacramento area, said Sutter Health Sacramento Sierra Region Community Benefits Manager Holly Harper.

This year, Sutter Health worked with PEACE for Families and Sierra Mental Wellness Group to identify about 50 families in Placer County.

The school received a list of items for the family: shoes, shirts, jeans, toiletries, art supplies, jackets, books, dolls, rain boots, stuffed animals, soccer ball, hats, blankets and more.

“At first, I thought, ‘Oh geez, did we maybe bite off more than we could do here?’ But we got nearly everything on the list,” said teacher Kristina Branson.

The group’s 50 members supplied the majority of gifts, with some other kids on campus contributing, too.

“I brought Hot Wheels for a little boy,” said student Blake Dunfield. “It’s better to be giving than receiving.”

The honor society’s goal is to promote community service and leadership among high-achieving students — the members all maintain a 4.0 grade point average — so assisting the Adopt-A-Family program seemed a natural fit.

The students gathered together after school Friday to pack the presents in boxes to drop off at Sutter Roseville Medical Center. The desks in Branson’s classroom were completely covered with gifts.

“I can’t even believe it,” said Renfeld of the students’ generosity. “Can you imagine how much difference that will make?”

Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter at SenaC_RsvPT.