For the second year in a row, Lakeview Elementary School’s Peer Mentors held a gift card drive for the charity, Samuel’s Trees. Samuel’s Trees is a non-profit charity organization centered around encouraging and loving babies and families in the Neonatal Intensive Critical Care Units (NICCU) of surrounding hospitals, including the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA).
Peer Mentors and Mentees painted encouraging posters and came to school bright and early to inspire all of the Lakeview families to participate in their gift card drive. Holiday music could be heard playing across campus while the Lakeview Lions arrived. Candy canes were passed out as a reminder to donate in benefit of the families impacted. Shouts of, “Donate to Samuel’s Trees,” were heard in the drop off line from the Mentors and Mentees!
This holiday season, the Lakeview school family, through Peer Mentor leadership, lovingly raised $9,000 in various gift cards — a $3,000 gain from the previous year! These gift cards will adorn three foot mini Christmas trees and will be given to the families in the NICCU of CHOC.
Each tree will contain $300 worth of gift cards for the families to help them with their daily needs. Lakeview donated enough trees to nearly cover the entire NICCU floor (level 4) of CHOC! What a tremendous accomplishment for a school family to do together!
These Lion families also got to participate in decorating all of the trees that they will be donating to CHOC. The three classes who raised the largest amount of gift cards were also able to decorate the trees. This included Lisa Nicholson’s class in first place, Genevieve Olson and Natali Riggio’s classes in second place, and Suzie Billhartz’s class in third place!
“Way to go, Lions, for taking the time to care about the babies fighting for their lives and for their families who will be spending their holidays in the hospital,” shared Mrs. Riggio. “We love your heart!”