CLU junior Maria Stoll started her own clothing drive for students and families of Rio Real Elementary in Oxnard, Calif.
Stoll is a member of Club Teach on campus. The program enables students who are in the process of becoming teachers to help the community and engage with children grades K-12.
When Stoll and other members of Club Teach visited Rio Real, the staff told them that many of the students and their families are in need of clothing.
“The staff at Rio Real told me that a particular family doesn’t have enough funding and that their children had to trade off which days they go to school because they didn’t have enough shoes for them,” said Stoll.
Stoll, who volunteers at Madera Elementary School in Simi Valley, said a huge difference can be seen between Madera and Rio Real.
Stoll was affected after hearing the stories about these children and started brainstorming with her colleagues on the ride home from the school.
Stoll’s first plan was to get the kids backpacks and pencils.
“They were so happy when we brought them the supplies. It’s stuff we take for granted but they were smiling,” she said.
Stoll talked about how a lack of supplies can affect one’s education.
“How do you expect kids to perform well if they don’t have shoes? Something like that has to conflict with their education,” said Stoll. “Madera has all these school supplies and their students have nice name tags. At Rio Real, they wrote their names on tape.”
When people asked how she would start the clothing drive, she didn’t know, but she soon figured something out.
“I emailed Marie [Orechoff], the president at Club Teach, but she had so much going on. She said that it sounded like a great idea but she wouldn’t be able to help me figure out how to make it happen,” said Stoll.
Stoll then met with Club Teach advisor Michael McCambridge.
“Maria wanted to head this, so I told her to contact the right people and bring some ideas to me and we got to work with the school and helped provide her with the resources she needed” said McCambridge.
Junior Astrid Olivares, Stoll’s roommate, is also a member of the program and is helping Stoll.
“I noticed a very needed community that didn’t have shoes and I became motivated,” said Olivares.
She helped with organizing, setting dates and planning the logistics of the clothing drive.
“We weren’t sure how successful it was going to be. Now, Maria has boxes and boxes of clothes in her dorm room,” said Olivares.
Stoll’s drive to help the students outweighed her fears about the project.
“At first, I was scared and wasn’t sure how many people would participate in the clothing drive. I decided that we’d collect any sizes and the rest of the clothes will go to help the families, since that also helps them out,” said Stoll.
Published May 8, 2013