In 2012, a small group of El Toro High School students held a collection drive for jackets and other warm clothing that benefited an area charity. The club’s staff advisor Morgan Fundingsland was made aware that there were students who also needed these types of items, so she began helping those students get essential gear. As the year went on, more on-campus needs were identified and the club began collecting a few donations from the El Toro High School staff in order to accommodate the requests for help. Students in need were discretely provided those items.
The charity jacket drive and private student distributions continued during the next year school year before the club eventually evolved into what it is now known as the KindNest Foundation Club in the fall of 2014. Led by a group of students with a passion for helping others, the members expanded their outreach by creating this new on-campus club that hosts free monthly “shopping” events, initially stocked with items donated by the El Toro High School staff. The club members meet weekly in their advisor’s classroom to sort and organize the donations in preparation for the shopping events. All students are welcome to select items, regardless of need or situation. This welcoming environment eliminates any stigma and encourages all students to have fun as well as get creative with their finds.
Awareness of this new club grew rapidly after the Orange County Register did a feature article in 2016, which resulted in new donation sources, including collaborations with other schools. This publicity also led to regular local online news coverage as well as a growing Social Media presence, which allows the club to interact with both donors and student participants in a fun and current way.
The club’s reach now goes beyond our campus, as items that are not selected or are not appropriate (such as children’s items) are re-donated to a number of regional and international charities. Club members and volunteers are creating a lasting legacy of compassion and service that impacts both their local and global communities.
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