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Burbank students offer hope for the holidays

December 14, 2002

Molly Shore

Camila Bastidas is busy wrap- ping gifts for Christmas.

These gifts, however, are not for her family or friends. Instead,

they are for people who might not receive any gifts were it not for

the goodwill of Bastidas and other Burbank High School students,

teachers and parents.

Bastidas, 18, vice president of the school's service club, Helping

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Other People Eat, gets personal satisfaction from contributing to the

well-being of local needy families.

"It feels good to help others and know that you're doing something

good for the holidays," Bastidas said.

The high school senior is one of 140 members of the club.

Throughout the school year, the group holds food and clothing drives

to benefit the needy.

"We have the Warm and Fuzzy Drive, providing families with

blankets and warming clothing, mostly donated by students, faculty

and Burbank High families," Bastidas said.

In the spring, club members prepare Easter baskets with eggs and

candy especially for families with children, Bastidas said.

For Christmas, club members are giving 60 families two to four

boxes of food, including fruits, vegetables and dry goods, Bastidas

said. In addition to the food, each family member will receive

clothing, as well as books and toys for the children.

Bastidas said they will also provide families with gift

certificates for places like K-Mart and Toys 'R' Us.

Faculty advisor Christina Fahad said this year, for the first

time, the club assigned specific holiday donation requests to various

departments at school. The English department contributed dry goods

and gift items for young people; the social science department gave

canned vegetables and gifts suitable for teen boys; and the art

department gave gift wrap- ping, bows and tags, she said.

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