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  • Writer's pictureBrayden Pape

November - A Month of Collaboration & Community

Updated: Jan 13

November came alive with a flurry of activities as we lived up to PILT's motto "Community, Collaboration, Compassion" to give back during the holiday season. Five of our partner schools, Helix Charter High School, Mission Bay High School, Albert Einstein Academies Charter Elementary School, Albert Einstein Academies Charter Middle School, and St. Therese Academy collaborated to provide sandwiches, nonperishable food items, hygiene products, winter clothing, and diapers to food insecure and housing insecure community members and their families.

The recipients of these collaborative efforts were interim shelter residents and Veteran clients of PATH San Diego, teens and youth living on San Diego's streets who are being supported by StandUp for Kids, and youth parents at the Housing Our Youth Collaborative.

Albert Einstein Academies Charter Schools

PILT's youngest executive committee member and future CEO :), eight-year-old Josephine continued to rally AEA's elementary school students to support those who are experiencing homelessness. She created a video and acquired a donation box (appropriately shaped as a house) for her school community to donate nonperishable food items and hygiene products.

CEO-elect Minori assisted by teammate Nicolo at AEA middle, and Josephine at AEA elementary responded to a request from PATH San Diego's newly-housed Veteran clients for warm clothing by collaborating with the school's parent-teacher organization, Friends of AEA. Jackets and coats in adult sizes sourced from this drive were delivered to Veterans at "Zephyr," while kids and youth sizes were delivered to StandUp for Kids San Diego.

Meanwhile, Brayden and Josephine continued their advocacy through presentations to Ms. Blackman's, Ms. Jones's, and Mrs. Erps's fifth grade classes. They spoke about their personal experience as activists and the urgency of finding sustainable solutions to food- and housing insecurity.

Mission Bay High School

Deputy Camila led a collaborative effort by the Outreach Club and the Key Club to donate 206 cans of food to PATH San Diego's interim shelter residents -- community members who are transitioning out of homelessness and are in the process of receiving services to eventually move into an apartment at one of PATH's supportive housing sites.

St. Therese Academy

For the second consecutive year, Mrs. Liana Zoni's seventh grade class visited PATH San Diego's downtown facility to learn about the causes of homelessness and what PATH does to assist those who are housing insecure. These awesome changemakers brought supplies and ingredients to make sandwiches for the unhoused community and spent a few hours volunteering where they made welcome home baskets and organized PATH's donations closet.

Helix Charter High School

Led by CEO Brayden, PILT efforts at Helix showcased Scottie Pride as the entire Helix community stepped up to respond to requests from the various organizations we support. When youth parents at the YMCA's Housing Our Youth Collaborative needed diapers, the Helix High School chapter of the National Honor Society stepped up. Under the advisory of Mrs. Amy Hull and presidency of Emmett Stewart, club members began donating diapers and pull-ups of all sizes and brands.

For the third consecutive year, the Art Club is collaborating with PILT. As in years past, club members including Sophie Brown and Morgan Achtenberg (below), have been spending their Friday afternoons painting blanket collection boxes for PATH San Diego's holiday blanket drive -- doing what they can to help keep our unsheltered community members warm during this cold season.

A schoolwide donation drive for hygiene products that was launched after receiving a request from PATH San Diego's Veteran clients. The generosity of the Helix High School community allowed us to supply over 700 personal care items not only to PATH's Veterans, but also to unsheltered teens supported by StandUp for Kids, and transitional age foster youth clients of the Housing Our Youth Collaborative.

PILT owes a debt of gratitude to Helix's grade level advisors Mrs. Naranjo (c/o 2024), Ms. Markey (c/o 2025), Ms. Lopez-Barajas (c/o 2026), and Ms. Castrejon (c/o 2027) for their unwavering support, and to the librarians Mrs. Potter and Mrs. Bruflat who have gone out of their way for PILT since we launched in August 2021.

Give a Little This Season

November was truly a month of giving for PILT and everyone involved. As we celebrate the warmth of this season with our families, wondering what gifts we would receive, let's not forget our teenage peers sleeping in the canyons of Balboa Park for whom Christmas or Hanukkah will be just another day.

If you can spare $5 or $10, please donate to our GoFundMe. Add a comment to let us know what you would like us to get with your donation for someone (adult or youth) experiencing homelessness, and we'll make it happen. We'll even send you proof!

Use this link donate-to-pilt-to-end-homelessness or scan the QR code below.

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