Every year, members of the local chapter of the Knights of Columbus hold their annual Tootsie Roll drive at Stater Bros. locations across the Yucaipa Valley. And every year, they donate their proceeds to help school children in the area with special needs.
Accordingly, Knights of Columbus members made their way to Yucaipa High School on Jan. 15, to present a check to the Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District to help fund special education programs. Over $3,200 was raised and donated by the group.
The Knights were also joined by YCJUSD Director of Student Services Jim Stolze, along with Yucaipa Mayor Bobby Duncan and Mayor Pro Tem David Avila.
“It’s neat seeing the community rally around our own Yucaipa kids that need that little bit of extra love and attention,” Stolze said, adding that the cost of many educational programs and resources have increased, making the donation all the more valuable.
“It’s a big deal to these kids,” Stolze said.
After presenting the check, Knights and city officials stuck around for a bit to stop and chat with the students and learn about their lesson plans and future goals.
Priscilla Mora, a special education teacher at YHS, was one of the instructors whose students got to meet the Knights members and thank them for their gift.
“It’s great, and it really touches my heart that people in the community do stuff like this for our students,” Mora said. “They go out of their way to care for our kids.”
She added that the funds will help pay for programs that teach life skills to the students.
“This will help them learn those skills to help them become independent at one point,” Mora said.
“What they’re doing is amazing,” Duncan said. “It’s always exciting for me to see citizens working hard to help other citizens. That’s what a community is all about. It’s very edifying.”