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Lathrop High students deliver toys for kids
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From left, Lathrop High students Katie Swofford, Melanie Ferrer, Brandon Bonalos, band teacher Desiree Bugarin, Ashley Chew, Kristen Roth, and Chuckie Garcia are applauded for their efforts Tuesday of providing Christmas gifts for needy youngsters at Lathrop Elementary School. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT

Christmas came a few days early for youngsters at Lathrop Elementary School.

Thanks to the joint efforts of Lathrop High’s Gay-Straight Alliance and the LHS band program, underprivileged kindergarten- through third- grade students on Tuesday received gift-wrapped toys just in time for the holidays.

“We had 28 students receiving a bag with multiple toys,” said GSA club advisor Samantha Danley.

The gifts were made possible by LHS staff members and the community.

All told, 140 unwrapped toys were collected in recent weeks.

According to Danley, a toy party was held featuring Discovery Toys.

“At the time, members of the community had a chance to purchase toys for their family or donate them (to the cause),” she said.

Danley, who is also the English Department chair at Lathrop High, is hoping to make the Christmas gift give-away an annual event, with hopes of expanding the program to include the other LHS feeder schools.

The inaugural event came about when the high school students were in search of a community service project.

The idea to host a toy drive benefiting underprivileged children – specifically, future Spartans – received plenty of support from staff members and administrators, including LHS Vice Principal Bill Pinol.

Danley added that Lathrop elementary Principal David Silveira and his staff determined the recipients of the gifts.