Spirit Week Wildfire Relief Drive brings rival schools together

Spirit Week at Los Altos and Mountain View High schools usually builds to a battle on the football field between the Eagles and the Spartans. While the two teams will still be facing off Saturday, they will be using the game to collaborate as well as compete.

The rival schools will be joined by students from Alta Vista High School – the first time leadership classes from the three schools have worked together – to collect donations for victims of the North Bay fires.

The three schools have united for a district-wide Wildfire Relief Drive, scheduled through Saturday. Students are collecting donations of new or unopened toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, deodorant, feminine products), infant diapers in all sizes and toddler Pull-Ups. They also will accept contributions of gift cards from Safeway, Target and Amazon.

Donations will directly support those displaced by the wildfires. Donations may be dropped off next to student and staff parking lots and school lobby/office areas at each school. There also will be a collection area at Saturday’s football game, set for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff at Los Altos High, 201 Almond Ave.

Making the best of canceled homecoming

After poor air quality from the North Bay fires led school officials to cancel Los Altos High’s Oct. 9 homecoming parade and football game against Saratoga High, a last-minute call to bring donations to the homecoming dance yielded only a few contributions.

“Homecoming was indeed the catalyst to move immediately into a relief drive,” said Suzanne Woolfolk, Los Altos High’s assistant principal, “not only to help those in need, but also to help our students gain perspective regarding their relatively smaller loss of a homecoming parade and football game.”

Leadership class advisers from the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District had already met last month to discuss ways to expand collaboration. While all three schools initially had plans to conduct relief drives of their own, they seized on the opportunity to make it a joint effort.

Working together enabled the schools to better identify which items were most needed by those living in temporary shelters.

“We are now collecting items that are consistent needs, and will likely be donated to Central Valley shelters to assist with displaced families,” Woolfolk said.

Joining forces at the Mountain View versus Los Altos football game to support a worthy cause also has other benefits, according to Carson Rietveld, Mountain View High’s Associated Student Body adviser.

“We thought it would be a great way to get everyone in the community together to support both an important local cause and more community unity,” he said.

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