In times of need, area students are continuing to rise to the occasion and provide help to their communities.

On Saturday, Monache High School’s California Scholarship Federation (CSF) Club hosted a donation drive-thru to collect non-perishable food for the Family Crisis Center in Porterville.

The drive has been done for over a decade and happens in January, but because of COVID, CSF decided to add one more drive.

Right now, especially in this time, we’re trying to look for people who need it the most,” CSF co-president Hassoon Sarwar said. “The women’s shelter, they do. They provide food for people who are in need of it. We’re trying to help them out.”

From 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., CSF and staff members from the Family Crisis Center collected donations in the high school parking lot. They totaled 2,188 items that filled four trucks and was delivered to the Family Crisis Center.

I think it’s gone great today,” Sarwar said.

A couple of miles away at the Strathmore Fire Station, the Strathmore High School Key Club and Strathmore Kiwanis were also hosting a donation drive-thru for those affected by the the SQF Complex Fire. The drive was the brainchild of student Melanie Chavez whose step-father is a firefighter.

My step-father went to the fires in Oregon and my mom was trying to help out the families,” Chavez said. “She was like, ‘If I could only have a drive-thru or something where I could donate stuff to help out,’ cause we saw a lot of families were affected by it. So I was like, I’m part of Key Club. We want to help out the community.”

Working with former Key Club president Erica Cisneros, Key Club advisor John Lujan, Strathmore Kiwanis members Alan Guire and president Melissa Guire; Strathmore made it happen.

Working in shifts from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., the group collected donations of water, non-perishable foods, new blankets and toiletries. They also collected around $200 from drivers passing by.

Lujan said the drive was completely motivated by the students but thanked the Strathmore Fire Station and neighboring Strathmore businesses for their support.

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