The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Stand Up to Cancer and Key Club host successful “One Toy and Book” drive

Final results pic
From left to right: Stand Up to Cancer club members freshman Yolanda Spura, seniors Kate Voitiuk, Gabi Shab, Summer Wong, Michele Tom and Amritha Sriram and freshman Megan Tsern hold boxes of donated toys and books. The collaborative effort between Stand Up to Cancer and Key Club resulted in the collection of approximately 200 books and ten toys for patients at the Lucile Packard Bass Childhood Cancer Center.

By Sitara Sriram and Annie Gaffney

From February 2 to February 13, the school’s Stand Up to Cancer Club and Key Club held a joint “One Toy and Book” drive for children in treatment at the Lucile Packard Bass Childhood Cancer Center in Palo Alto. The clubs collected approximately 200 books and ten toys.

Stand Up to Cancer reached out to the school’s Key Club for help in making the drive a success. Earlier in the year, the two clubs had discussed the possibility of doing a joint drive to get the names of both clubs out there, and the “One Toy and Book” drive provided both clubs the opportunity to do just that.

“Key Club has been really helpful in telling us what would be effective and what wouldn’t be effective,” Stand Up to Cancer co-president senior Summer Wong said.  “Since we are a first year club and this is a pretty big project and…Key Club is experienced, they were able to tell us what was going to work and what was not going to work.”

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Key Club president senior Sean Nguyen stressed the importance of publicity in assuring the success of the drive. Before Stand Up to Cancer and Key Club’s initiative, there were two other toy and book drives, so there was a big push to promote their specific cause.

“For our [drive], we put up fliers, we made videos, we made graphics and put them on the projector and included the donate link,” Sean said. “What we did was tell [Stand Up to Cancer] how to get as much publicity as they could to make this drive successful. I guess that’s the hardest part to get the word out and get people to come together.”

In addition to partnering with Stand Up to Cancer, Key Club aspires to create a stronger club community through similar partnerships with other school clubs.

“I think reaching out to all the other clubs in the school definitely encouraged this club interaction and really built that club spirit,” Sean said. “[We hope to] help all of the clubs be successful in all of their drives, whether it be a restaurant fundraiser or a bake sale.”

Stand Up to Cancer partnered with the school’s Key Club to host the drive. On the top: Stand Up to Cancer members seniors Amritha Sriram, Gabi Shab, Summer Wong, Kate Voitiuk, Allison Mock and Michele Tom. Under: Key Club members seniors Bryan Kim, Elvis Li, Jason Lai, Sean Nguyen, David Wu, Steven Cui and junior Helena Chi.

Stand up to Cancer partnered with Bass Childhood Cancer Center at the beginning of the school year.

“We specifically chose the Bass Childhood Cancer Center because [at the center], there are cancer patients for all types of diseases like neuroblastomas and leukemias and lymphomas,” Stand Up to Cancer co-president senior Michele Tom said. “We felt that it was really important to centralize our cause in order to donate items to individuals that are actual patients and [in particular], children who really need these items that we’re gathering for them.”

The club worked with Sophie Croen, a community relations associate at Lucile Packard, to focus their outreach to fulfill specific needs.

“Croen has been helping us by telling us what the hospital really needs,” Summer said. “She talks to the doctors and the patients and asks them what they really need so we can focus our donations towards a specific cause. For example, their library needs help so [that’s why] we put a lot of emphasis on books.”

Overall, the drive accomplished its goals of spreading awareness and reaching out to those at Lucile Packard.

“We thought it was really important that people are aware of what these kids have to go through at such a young age,” Summer said. “So we wanted to do this drive for them, and also we have a couple members of our club who are patients at Lucile Packard, so we wanted to do something special for them as well.”

Quad pic
On February 4, World Cancer Day, Stand Up to Cancer Club handed out free purple cancer awareness ribbons and accepted donations from students; the donations paid for the stuffed animals displayed on the table, which were given as toys to patients at the Lucile Packard Bass Childhood Cancer Center. From left to right: Seniors Kate Voitiuk, Michele Tom, Allison Mock, Summer Wong, Amritha Sriram and Gabi Shab and freshmen Megan Tsern, Pheobe Aaronson, Anyka Chan and Christina Toeller man the tables in the quad together.

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