Santa Catalina Lower and Middle School collected small stuffed animals for the Family Resource Center in Salinas during the month of January. The Family Resource Center offers a safe harbor and hope for the homeless in the community and, as their mission statement shares, "lends families a hand through information, referrals, and programs."
The children very much connected to this project. They appreciated that these stuffed animals could become so much more than simply a toy to play with for children who have so little. They understood that their donations may even become one of the few constants in uncertain lives. With great care, the Santa Catalina students brought in new or freshly washed stuffed animals and then, together, in small groups, as part of the school's Compass program, made cards to go with the "stuffies." Some of the notes included these messages: "You've got a friend in me," "Cuddles," "Sleep tight," and "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
The notes were then attached to the stuffed animals with the hopes that the comforting thoughts can bring some restful nights. Santa Catalina Lower and Middle School is so very grateful for the opportunity to offer hope in some way to the problem of homelessness. These students are learning to grow in compassion for our community.