Members of Hamilton High School Junior Optimist Club, with help from the National Honor Society and Student Council, met in November to pack 60 shoe boxes with items that were shipped to children in South America and Africa.
Junior Optimist Ashley Velasquez, a junior, and Brooke Stanley, a freshman, spearheaded Hamilton’s involvement in Operation Christmas Child which provides children with shoe boxes filled with clothing, school supplies, hygiene products and toys. It is a project of Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief organization.
Teachers throughout the high school had large boxes in their classrooms for two weeks that students filled with donated items. Junior Optimists, National Honor Society and Student Council members then packed individual shoe boxes after school with a variety of items to be given to children affected by war, poverty, natural disaster, famine and disease.
In its second year, the Junior Optimists is associated with the adult Optimist Club of Sussex, Lisbon, Lannon and Butler. Optimist members Diane Matuszak, Rose Schwartz, Carl Trapp, Heidi Konrath, and Michele and Jerry Schmitz also helped pack the boxes and provided pizza to the volunteers. Hamilton communication arts teacher Debbie Figueroa is advisor to the club.