kids sitting on bench with clown

Good Deeds Rewarded! Philanthropy Group Honors Sandia Vista Elementary
Posted on 08/30/2019
Sandia Vista Elementary School principal Pat DiVasto sums up her school community’s giving spirit this way: “Our school believes in giving to those in need without the expectation of getting something back in return.” But good things sometimes come to those who give.

Sandia Vista is this year’s recipient of the New Mexico Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP-NM) “Outstanding Youth-Elementary” award for 2019. This award recognizes outstanding commitment to the community through direct financial support, development of charitable programs, volunteering, and leadership in philanthropy. AFP-NM will present the award during its National Philanthropy Day luncheon on November 14.  

Fifth-graders on Sandia Vista’s Student Council reached out last year to multiple community organizations, seeking to establish a philanthropy partnership. The local Ronald McDonald House came back with, “Please! Choose us!” Twelve students and their teacher sponsors, Jimmy Marez, Jasmine Stewart, and Jaime David, spearheaded several successful fundraisers. These include a “Penny Wars” competition that raised $2,300 in one week, and a toiletry drive that collected more than 4,000 items families could use while staying at the Ronald McDonald House. To say “thank you,” the Garza Family McDonald’s Corporation provided lunch, a magic show, and crafts to students at Sandia Vista.

Sandia Vista students and staff are looking forward to a continued partnership with the Garza Family, the franchisees for McDonalds in the region. They are working together to create a template that can be used nationally for schools to partner with Ronald McDonald Houses across the country.