We had our March Grab-and-Go Event this past weekend to finish off our second trimester, and it was a huge success!

It felt good to reunite as a larger community after a year (in a Covid-safe way, of course). Not only did we get to see some of our longtime volunteers in-person again, we also got to meet many of our new volunteers that we had only met on Zoom until now. One of the best moments was getting to see one tutor’s enthusiasm as he finally got to meet his 2nd grade student in-person after almost a year of meeting together only on Zoom! What a joy to see one another in the flesh! 

Over $4,000 in hygiene products (that you all bought!) carefully bagged and organized for each family were the first to arrive on the scene in a UHAUL. Next, were eight carloads of items including hundreds of pairs of shoes, over 1,300 pounds of produce and every Magic Treehouse book ever published! Our volunteers scurried around like ants setting up tables, sorting shoe sizes and preparing the perfect amount of frosting in Dixie cups for each child. Our students got to walk through our stations and collect a smorgasbord of items. From fancy footwear to bananas without bruises and perfectly plump blueberries to hand soap, diapers and lotion to shamrock cookies doused in sprinkles, everyone felt the love that you all contributed to making the event possible. 

One student was so thrilled about his new stylish Vans that he declared he would, “Watch YouTube and finally learn to tie his shoes!” All were thankful for the high quality footwear that all kids pine after, especially with in-person school starting in less than three weeks (such great timing)! Shortly after arriving at the “Dance Off” tent, students learned and unabashedly performed a dance routine taught by our longtime dance instructor, Megan (and her lovely assistant Andrea,  our volunteer coordinator!). 

It took an army of folks purchasing, organizing, baking, sorting, transporting, and distributing items. There was so much hauling involved in pulling off the day. We basically created our own shoe store complete with socks, foot sizers and a plethora of shoe styles and sizes.

We couldn’t have pulled it off without this amazing ‘gang’ of volunteers and donors, so THANK YOU. 

About Melissa Phillips

Melissa Phillips is one of the founders of San Diego Refugee Tutoring and currently serves as its Program Director. She has four incredible children, many years of teaching experience, and a supportive husband who also works in education.

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