DOWNEY – Downey Council PTA H.E.L.P.S. (Health, Education, Local Pantry Service) held its annual appreciation luncheon April 3 at Apollo Park. Guests included residents of Downey who have donated to PTA HELPS, members of service organizations, church groups and PTA members from the Downey Unified School District who have donated money, time and food items throughout the year, without which PTA HELPS could not function.
PTA HELPS serves approximately 150 families a month. During the recent holidays, the program provided food baskets to more than 600 families. They also assisted with the city of Downey’s Operation Santa Claus program for the distribution of toys at Christmastime.
PTA HELPS is a program which was started many years ago by members of the PTA in order to assure that children of Downey schools and their families could keep food on their tables in time of need. The program now serves elderly members of the Downey community, the disabled, families of the working poor and the homeless.
Those who work in the program include mothers of students, grandmothers, former teachers and principals who have retired from the Downey school system.
The director of PTA HELPS, Beth Gendreau, has been an active member of Downey PTA since 1997. She past president of Downey Council PTA and currently belongs to 33rd District PTA and Coordinating Council of Downey. She has been director of PTA HELPS for the past four years.
Members of PTA HELPS include Beth Gendreau, Wendy McKinsey, Martha Sodetani, Marge Lewis, Gail Raabe, Stacy Brabant, Linda Kennedy, DeAnne Kiralla, Lynne Corapi, Bonnie Gauthier, Laurie Fiore, Desiree Schnieder, Donna Boose and Kim Sodetani.
For more details on PTA HELPS, call (562) 861-9833 between the hours of 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on a Wednesday or Friday.
Published: April 17, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 01