About 300 students from eight Morgan Hill Unified School District schools and two Gilroy Unified School District schools were able to choose from an array of new and gently used school clothes. Students, from needy families, were also given packages of brand-new socks and underwear, while free haircuts were given by the local Sports Clips and Cherisse’s Salon. In addition, 200 backpacks were distributed to children and parents were issued a bag of fresh produce on their way out.
“Everything went very well. It was nice to see the kids get to do their own shopping for things they wanted and things they needed,” said foundation founder Cecilia Ponzini. “You could see the smiles on their faces after the haircuts. The kids all put their backpacks on and were walking around.”
Local sponsors included the Kiwanis Club of Morgan Hill (which also served up hot dogs, chips and drinks for everyone), the local American Association of University Women, Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce, the City of Morgan Hill, Centennial Recreation Center and Commonwealth Credit Union. Additionally, the Foothill Community Health Center of San Jose gave free medical screenings on site.
Ponzini said families lined up at 7:15am outside the nonprofit at 35 Peebles Ave., even though the event did not start until 10am. The line was more than a mile long, she noted.
“This is our mission, to help all the families in real need,” said Ponzini, who has helped establish 15 programs that serve the neediest of local families “with dignity and respect” by providing them with food, clothing, car seats, blankets, sheets and towels.