Hemet Unified School District is blessed to serve the wonderful and thoughtful students within our district. Every time there is a tragedy or crisis, we see our students stepping forward and creating fundraisers to help those that have suffered, and Hurricane Harvey was no different. Last month we had students at Jacob Wiens writing handmade cards for students in Houston, and now a student at West Valley has organized a project to help donate supplies to James Madison High School in Houston, Texas.
Andrew Weishaar is a senior at West Valley High School. He is a good student, plays football, and is second in command for the school’s JROTC program. After watching the news, Andrew came to school the next morning and approached Chief Warrant Officer and Naval Science teacher, Alfonza Walton, to ask what they could do to help people in Houston. By third period, Andrew came up with the idea of collecting donations for small children to help parents take care of their kids. After discussing the idea with the Principal Dr. Janice Jones, more people began to get involved and the idea gained momentum. Donna Parker, West Valley’s AVID teacher, used her AVID connections to adopt a high school in Houston, James Madison High School, where they would be sending the donations.
Andrew and the West Valley team spent nearly a month collecting various items for victims of Hurricane Harvey. After all was said and done, 2,500 pounds of donations were sent to James Madison High School. Donations included clothing, food, water, sanitation supplies, toiletries, and other household products. Chief Ed Aguiar, JROTC instructor, took a U-haul (that was donated from his friend) and drove from Hemet to El Paso, Texas, on Saturday, October 14th, to meet James Madison's JROTC instructor, Lieutenant Bryon Connors, who would drive back to Houston to deliver the donations to the school.
Andrew Weishaar was thankful to his fellow cadets, AVID students, and others throughout the school who donated to this cause. “We aren’t just a school; we are a family, a nation. We are here for each other. We want to build everyone one up, give people equal opportunity, especially in a crisis situation,” said Andrew.
The West Valley JROTC program is preparing for another project where they will be conducting a Flag Retirement Ceremony at Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)’s Winchester Post on November 12th at 2:00 p.m. Chief Aguiar said the ceremony is a way to pay homage to those that have given their life for our nation. They are asking the community to come to the ceremony and asking them to bring old American flags that are no longer fitting for display to be retired. If you have a flag that has been torn or ripped, please bring it to West Valley prior to the 12th and JROTC will bring it with them to the Ceremony.
Thank you to Andrew Weishaar, Chief Warrant Officer Walton, Chief Aguiar, and the West Valley team for coming together for such wonderful causes!