BY KELLI GILE
Diamond Bar — 17 members of the Chaparral Middle School HUMANitarian Club helped make and serve about 280 dinners to area homeless on Thursday, Feb. 27. Volunteers from many of Chaparral’s advocacy classes also supported the cause.
For the past eight years, the service club has reached out to the homeless through the East San Gabriel Valley’s Winter Shelter program. The rotating shelter begins at the end of October and runs through the end of February.
Students donated items to make a complete lunch for all the residents to take with them the following day after the dinner. Club members also spent time before the dinner service began getting to know their clients. “They learned a very valuable lesson about stereotyping homeless people,” said teacher and advisor, Sherry Robertson.
Club President, Kimberly Flores, said the students were shocked to learn that many of the people have jobs, some of them more than one. “You can’t categorize who you meet at this shelter…women, men, children,” Flores said. “My experience at the homeless shelter was pretty amazing. It changed my perspective on homeless people. I realized that they can be the same as us. There were educated people with jobs, but they didn’t have the same luxuries as we do,” she said.