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NVCS Kids Classroom Student Starts Giveaway Program for Homeless Classmates

"It doesn't hurt to help:" NVCS Kids Classroom student, Miia, takes the initiative to help out her classmates in need through giveaway program.

Miia siting at a lunch table outside of the classroom building

Since the Los Angeles city-wide school closures in March, twelve-year-old Miia and thousands of other students have been attending school online.

Like so many other working parents, Miia’s mother, Griselda, is a working mom who, all of a sudden, was left scrambling to find a place that would support Miia academically. After hearing about the NVCS Kids Classroom program, Grizelda was able to enroll her daughter.

To her surprise, Miia recognized some of her new classmates from NVCS’ Family’s First program. In this program, families who are homeless are placed in motels. Earlier in the year, Miia joined her mom in delivering cooked meals to these families.

The soft-spoken sixth grader told herself, “Maybe I can do something about this, maybe I can help.” It wasn’t long before Miia and her mother thought of establishing a clothes, shoes and book giveaway program for the motel kids who are not only her peers, but her friends.

Miia and her mother began to gather donations from friends and coworkers. Then, they created giveaway bags, each consisting of two outfits, shoes and a book.

When clothing donations weren’t enough, they purchased new clothes with donated gift cards. The shopping process is easy for Miia since she sees the kids every day.

“It’s nice that she interacts with them so she knows what they like,” her mother said with pride.

Every bag is personalized for each student, including the book, many of which have been donated by Miia herself. She carefully chooses the books based on what she thinks her classmate would like.

This personalization is only possible because of her friendships with each student, which is one of her favorite things about the NVCS Kids Classroom program.

“I’d rather be their friend instead of not knowing them,” Miia said.

The recipients of the gift bags are always grateful. They cannot believe that their friend Miia would have the idea to give them such essential items.

“[Their reaction] made me feel like I can accomplish more in life,” Miia said confidently.

Unfortunately because of limited resources, Miia cannot donate bags to all of the children living in motels; she can only provide bags for her classmates in the NVCS Classroom program. Her hope is to provide bags for as well for their siblings who are not participating in the program and who are also in need. She hopes to grow her giveaway program to provide the same gifts to her classmates’ siblings.

“I can help more people in need. I can make this bigger,” Miia said with excitement for what the future holds.


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