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CVHS students pay it forward to homeless
30 learn how helping others can actually be fun
Central Valley High School students Santiago Lujan (left) and Miguel Contreras prepare peanut butter sandwiches for the homeless as part of a Pay it Forward project at school. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Miguel Contreras, Sergio Gonzalez and Santiago Lujan were among the 30 students from Central Valley High School's Success 101 program making 200 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in room B2-36 on April 5 for the homeless and hungry as part of "Pay It Forward Week."

The sandwiches were donated to Teens With A Mission and Turlock Gospel Mission.

Teens With A Mission supplement coffee and snacks out of a parking lot in South Ninth Street in Modesto on Tuesday mornings.

"This is my first time doing something like this," Lujan said. "It's cool getting to help people."

"The thing that is most satisfying is we can help people that can't eat every day," noted Gonzalez.

"It's a privilege to be able to help people that don't have food," Contreras said.

This marks the second year in a row Central Valley 101 Success students made a difference in the community.

"It was inspiring to see," said Natalie Rowell, class advisor. "This is the highlight of their freshman experience. It helps with their transition to high school. It really gives them a sense of purpose."

A handful of students delivered 45 floral arrangements, which were made with assistance from the school's agriculture department, to residents of the Hale Aloha Convalescent Hospital in Ceres on Thursday.

A total of six tie blankets were constructed and will be delivered to a group home in Ceres this week.

"This year the kids launched a clothing drive and added picking up trash after lunchtime," said Rowell. "We collected 20 bags of clothes and shoes."

DOT Foods provided a financial donation which helped pay for peanut butter, jelly and bread, and materials for floral arrangements, tie blankets and positive goodie bags.

"Last year was a huge success," Rowell said. "We far exceeded our expectations again. I definitely foresee this continuing to grow. It is our mission to try to get everyone involved on campus."