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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Gabrielino staff members share little acts of kindness

    By Bellefontaine Nhan | Staff Writer

       A key feature of the holiday season is to take it upon oneself to give back to their community. Some Gabrielino High School teachers and staff that are volunteering and giving back to the community, like teachers Stepahnie Ventura, Tera Straker, and Sheila Mateo.

       Volunteering has changed dramatically over the last few months, thus, people may believe that it is costly to give back to their community. But, giving back doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant. 

       Ventura stated, “It is so important that we uplift and acknowledge others in any way we can, even if it is just with a cold drink and a snack.” 

       Ventura’s family has been giving these snacks and drinks to delivery workers that have been  working throughout this pandemic. This may seem simple, however, these small acts of kindness can reach a long way. Services like this can make delivery personnel feel appreciated for working so diligently, despite the risk factors. 

       Through this activity, Ventura was also able to learn several attributes about the delivery drivers in her community- such as names and favorite snacks. 

       Straker also does volunteering activities. Through these activities, Straker hopes to let everyone know that they matter. There can be numerous problems an individual will have to go through and having a support system can help those who need it. 

       “In supporting people in our community, we can become a small part of the solution.” Straker explained, 

      One of the organizations that Straker is involved in is ResisterhoodLA, which holds monthly volunteer events open to the public. Volunteering has allowed Straker to make fond memories that will last a lifetime.

       “This year was a little different, in that we loaded donated food into cars as a drive-through event,” Straker stated. “We helped serve over 700 families and actually ran out of food.” 

       Volunteering is not just exclusive to helping people, though. Mateo is a regular donor to the Human Society. 

       “I have a big heart for all animals  and want to give back in ways that I can,” Mateo stated. 

       Mateo donates toys and food to the organization. She also often participates in SPCA, as well as the annual dog walking fundraisers held at Bonelli Park in San Dimas.

       Volunteering and giving back to the community brings back a sense of humanity, even after the global pandemic attempted to take it away.

    Straker stated, “By giving back, we gain more understanding and compassion for others.” 

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    Gabrielino staff members share little acts of kindness