Schools community provides assistance to victims of Butte County wildfire

Students and staff at Mountain View and Los Altos high schools, along with an alumnus, have rallied to assist those impacted by last month’s wildfire in Butte County.

Members of the Mountain View High School Choir Department served food to evacuees and volunteers, the Los Altos High varsity girls volleyball team is leading a drive to collect money and other necessities for fire victims and Los Altos graduate Jeremiah Girouard has offered to drive the supplies to Butte County.

Eight people affiliated with the Mountain View High Choir – from teachers to parents – drove to Chico Nov. 17 to donate food originally ordered for the school’s annual Renaissance Concerts, which were canceled due to poor air quality.

While there, they also served the 200 meals to displaced citizens and volunteers from the Salvation Army, California Conservation Corps and Pleasant Valley Baptist Church.

“The whole day was really heartwarming,” said choir director Jill Denny, who helped facilitate the donation. “We went there with the mindset of helping those who were displaced by the fires, and we were happy that we also got to help those who were volunteering.”

At Los Altos High, the volleyball team started collecting money and necessities for the students of Chico High after playing its team in a playoff match the day the fire broke out. Los Altos co-captain Kaitlyn Wong said her team watched as the coaches from visiting Chico broke news of the fire to their players after the match.

“It was really heartbreaking … realizing they can’t go back to their home,” said Wong, whose squad reached the state final for the first time in school history. “(It) helped our team put things in perspective and push through everything.”

With the help of Eagles athletic director Michelle Noeth, the girls organized a collection of goods at school and during their next playoff match. Noeth enlisted her freshmen PE class to help with the drive.

“I’m so proud of them,” Noeth said.

The drive is an ongoing project at the school. Noeth said donations of cash and gift cards are being sent to Chico High; Girouard will deliver clothing, toiletries and other supplies to the Quincy Crisis Center.

Girouard, a Los Altos Hills resident, said he rented a U-Haul and planned to travel to Butte County this week to drop off the supplies.

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