In an annual tradition, students from Sierra Waldorf School on Rawhide Road in Jamestown gathered together Friday, Nov. 19, to celebrate the act of giving. 

They brought items they made at school and donations from home to tables set up in a covered area outside for their morning assembly. 

This year’s theme was giving comfort to the homeless by putting together “necessity bags” that consisted of toiletries, gloves, snacks, lotion, lip balm, instant coffee, tea, a bandana and a handwritten note with an inspirational phrase. Feminine hygiene products were included in bags specially designed for women. 

All of the donations were slated for the David Lambert Community Drop-In Center in Sonora. Jeanette Lambert, the center’s founder, and a team of volunteers arrived in pickup trucks and were present for the celebration.

The process begins earlier in the fall, when the combined sixth-seventh-grade class decides what the school project will be. Last year’s project was a book drive. 

In addition to the bags, donations to the center on Friday included frozen bags of soup made by kindergarteners, beef chili and cornbread made by third- and fourth-graders, and Rice Krispie treats made by fifth-graders. 

Combined sixth-seventh-grade class teacher Jessica Robertson, 42, of Copperopolis, spoke to the student body telling them that their act of “collective giving led to something grand” and how people they don’t know will benefit from their donations. 

Students thanked Jeanette Lambert by spelling out her name with an attribute for each letter and presented her with a potted miniature rose bush. 

Jeanette Lambert spoke to the gathering and thanked the children for their efforts. She said that while she receives donations from the county, corporations and other entities, she is especially pleased by donations from the children. 

“You are going to grow to be adults that can serve in the community and with your little hearts, you will give and do marvelous things,” she said. “God bless you and all of your teachers for all you do.”

Jeanette Lambert paid an earlier visit to the school before the project began and explained to the seventh-grade students what the Lambert Center is and who it serves. She emphasized the importance of “staying in school, the importance of charity work and using one’s gifts out in the world.”

Scott Geer, 9, of Sonora, said it was “fun to cook and work on our skills.” 

Seventh-grade student Paige Barnett, 12, of Sonora, commented on the Lambert Center and said “a lot of people put in hard work and effort, and Jeanette did a nice thing for the community.” She also said that she liked how the classes “worked together to supply items for the donations.”

Bodhi Jones, 11, of Sonora, said he “hoped more schools would do this,” and  thanked Jeanette Lambert because “her center helps a lot of people.” 

Avery Giles, 12, of Sonora, said that it was good that people are helping out because “It (homelessness) is a big problem” and that he “hoped the students’ contributions would make a difference in this community.”

Contact Shelly Thorene at sthorene@uniondemocrat.com or (209) 588-4527.

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