HomeBlocksFront-GridEast Meets West Parent Education Club Caps 2023 With Year-End Drive

East Meets West Parent Education Club Caps 2023 With Year-End Drive

To end the year 2023 with smiles, youth members in the East Meets West Parent Education Club came together and collaborated to raise funds to donate backpacks to people in need.

EMWPEC is a San Marino-based, community nonprofit volunteer organization focused on bridging cultures, parent education, and youth empowerment. The club regularly serves homeless people, and hosts educational webinars, while also promoting youth leadership volunteering and training.

For the year-end project, the club’s youth volunteers, ranging from middle to high school students, came together to help the community by stuffing 150 backpacks with essential supplies to different organizations that will pass them on to the less fortunate.

The club’s former president Tammy Huang-Anacleto served as project advisor for the service project, which aimed to develop leadership skills among youth and provide them with community service opportunities. There were five teams with student leaders, and each team was responsible for an average of 50 backpacks. Those backpacks were generously donated by World Harvest USA, a nonprofit organization in Monrovia. 

One of the groups, Team 3, led by San Marino High School freshman Peter Brassard, donated backpacks to Villa Esperanza, a small learning facility in Pasadena that services children with special needs. Inside the backpacks were pencils and other learning supplies, as well as some items the students there specifically requested, such as T-shirts and robes. These were wish-list items that the kids wouldn’t have received without support from the community. Team 3 also donated backpacks filled with advanced school supplies, such as scientific calculators and USB drives, to Friends of Foster Children, which connects with orphanages for middle- and high-school-aged children in the San Gabriel Valley area.

After spending several weeks fundraising more than $1,600, purchasing and packing the items into backpacks, Team 3, which includes Matthew and Joseph Margolis, Caleb Lee, Connor Chang, Emilio Carr, and John Aidan Huang-Anacleto, delivered the items to both organizations in December. The backpacks are now being transferred directly to the kids.

EMWPEC Team 1 and Team 6 donated backpacks to other important organizations, such as Union Station Homeless Services in central Pasadena. Over the course of two months, the two teams have met separately to partake in the backpack donation project. Together, they raised funds for hygiene items, packed them in backpacks, and donated them to Union Station. The two teams have donated 100 backpacks with over $1,350 worth of hygiene items to the residents of the homeless shelter just in time for the holidays.

The project was a great success overall, and all the supported organizations benefited greatly from the youth.

All volunteer students received service hours for their school and the Presidential Volunteer Service Award. This won’t be the last time that the youth will play a vital role in the club. EMWPEC offers many volunteering opportunities for youth at its community events, beach and park clean-ups, and donation drives all year round. For more information, visit the club’s website at emwpec.org.

First published in the Jan. 11 issue of the San Marino Tribune


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