Fremont students, community donate to Advocates

When mothers escape a violent relationship, they often forget to leave a forwarding address for Santa Claus.

Luckily, Santa's elves at Fremont Elementary School and around Carson City have got him covered.

Members of Fremont's student council organized a campaign where the school adopted 32 children living at the shelters provided by Advocates to End Domestic Violence.

"The kids who are in this school get a lot of presents beneath the tree every year," said Alexandra Kula, 9. "These kids only get a few. We're helping so they'll get more."

The hundreds of toys collected by Fremont Elementary students will be combined with food collected during The News 2 Holiday Drive-By Food Drive to be donated to Advocates.

Jean Remer has been volunteering for 10 years at Advocates to End Domestic Violence.

"I believe in what they're trying to do," Remer said. "It helps today's kids which are tomorrow's future."

Remer was one of many volunteers collecting food and monetary donations in front of the Ormsby House on Friday.

She said the food collected will not only be used during the Christmas season but hopes it will last through the summer.

"If somebody gets violent, they don't look at the calendar," she said. "We need food all year long."

Christmas should be a little brighter for the children as well with the donations from Fremont Elementary Students.

"I think it was a good idea because we were helping other people to have a better Christmas," said Stacey Rikalo, 10. "Their lives could be better with just a little bit of our help."

The members of the student council went to all the classrooms to rally support for the project.

"My favorite part was when we went around to the classes," said Cody Tyzbir, 11. "We saw how nice the kids were and how generous they were."

Not only did the students give, but they were happy to give.

"I think it was really fun to have this experience," said Ashley Kula, 9. "Not many kids get to help Advocates to End Domestic Violence."

Chelsea Haynes, 10, wanted the children to know that they are important.

"They'll be thinking how people cared about them and gave them all those presents," she said.

School counselor Nanette Oleson said the project also benefited the students involved.

"It's important for children to have goals and to have the opportunity to go beyond themselves," she said. "Community service is one way of doing that."

They learned another lesson as well.

"I learned that you get a good feeling when you help," said Felicia Groso, 11. "It makes you feel really happy."


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