Los Amigos High staff collects $10,000 to help families through COVID-19 crisis

Staff members at Los Amigos High School in the Garden Grove Unified School District have collected $10,000 — most of it coming from their own accounts — to help local students and families facing financial hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Los Amigos Christi Montes and Christina Fenner

Los Amigos High math department Chair Christi Montes (left) and librarian Christina Fenner helped organize staff donations to benefit students and families facing financial hardships as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

Teachers Kerry Bernhardt and Babak Mobasseri came up with the idea after recognizing that working from home, while challenging, was saving them money on gas, car insurance and other expenses. They wondered whether other teachers would be interested in pooling their funds to help Los Amigos families in need.

Under the leadership of school librarian Christina Fenner and math department Chair Christi Montes, the staff donated $7,300, which included income from federal stimulus checks. SchoolsFirst Credit Union chipped in with $1,000, and students in the school’s Girls’ League donated $2,500.

Teachers and counselors generated a list of recipients. Each received a $100 Walmart gift card, along with a list of local resources and a note of encouragement.

“This pandemic has devastated our community and many families have lost jobs, homes and cars, and are feeling a sense of hopelessness,” said school board member Bob Harden. “The compassion shown by the Los Amigos staff is a testament to how much they love their students and want them to do well, not only in school, but also in life.”