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Homeless students helped by Women of Woodbridge
Rita Rincon, right, and niece Ana Velarde are shown dropping off some clothes, childrens games and other school items for the homeless students in Manteca Unified. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO

Youth and drinking are like oil and water. They don’t go together, and never should the particles mix.

Unless one is talking, that is, about the Women of Woodbridge at Del Webb. Thanks to their wine-tasting fund-raising venue, they were able to generate funds earmarked to help the homeless youth in Manteca Unified School District for the second year in a row. The check they presented this year to Health Services Director Caroline Thibodeau was, in fact, triple what they gave last year.

A visit to the Health Services office, located in the portable building on the south side of the school district’s three-story building on West Louise Avenue and South Airport Way, will show the various ways the Woodbridge women’s donation – and other cash amounts donated by various individuals and the morning Kiwanis Club as well – has been used, and are being used. The room next to Thibodeau’s office is filled to the gills with practically everything that young students need – clothes including shirts and jeans, shoes, backpacks, notebooks, socks, and a host of personal needs such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, lotions, shampoos, soap and other hygiene items for both boys and girls. More of the same are stacked in available spaces throughout the portable building.

The purchased items augment gently used clothing and footwear that are donated by countless generous souls.

Thibodeau said cash donations are always appreciated because the money allows them to purchase new clothes for the homeless children, many of whom have never had the experience of owning new clothes.

The number of homeless children enrolled in various schools in Manteca Unified fluctuates from year to year, she said. This year, the number was 680.

The Women of Woodbridge supports other programs and community projects as well, but their focus revolves around the various needs of children.