Senior Collects 300 Turkeys, and Counting, For Community
STUDENTS | November 9, 2018
Senior Collects 300 Turkeys, and Counting, For Community

For the third consecutive year, Clemente Community Academy student, Isabella Garcia, will host Give 3k, a day where the community receives non-perishables and turkeys. This year, she’s saying it’ll be a “gobble” of a good time and anticipates more than 300 families to show on Tuesday.

Families who go to the school, 1147 N. Western Ave., from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., will receive foods such as mashed potatoes, stuffing, vegetables, and, of course, the turkey.

The senior says that after three years, her biggest motivation is seeing the smiles on community members faces when they arrive for the celebration.

“My favorite moment is the day of the event,” says Isabella. “Give 3k really gets the community together, and it shows how one small idea from me can lead to a big event for others.”

It all began with a class project, she says.

In her freshman year health class, she decided to start a food pantry with healthy, non-perishable items for students in her school.

After seeing how receptive the students were to the idea, Isabella says she decided she wanted to do something bigger and better, something that would impact her entire community.

“Growing up, I always had a privileged life,” says Isabella. “When I would go through my community, I would always see ways I wanted to help. My goal expanded to include the entire community because I wanted to bring people together and help everyone I could.”

For last year’s Give 3k, Isabella, with the help of her mother, went the extra mile to collect enough goods to feed a community.

She asked firemen, policemen, aldermen, and anyone with ties to her neighborhood to help.

Isabella says she wanted the event closer to Thanksgiving to help families have meals for the special day.

She credits her school and, specifically, her principal, Fernando Mojica, for helping her rally support for that second year.

“Principal Mojica has been very supportive every step of the way,” says Isabella. “My school, as a whole, has helped me make sure that I have enough support from the very beginning.”

Mojica says the event is a “joyous” occasion that is special for the school.

“It’s not often that a school gets to open their doors and allow the community to come and really share something special and exciting,” she says. “ Whenever we get to see that, no matter how minor or major the celebration, that’s the most wonderful thing. It’s become this really joyous event.”

Isabella says the 2nd Annual 3k was a hit, with music and more than 30 families in attendance.

This year, with the outpouring of support she’s received, she says 300 families are expected to show up to receive Thanksgiving meals.

Isabella’s mother, Bridget Garcia, says they are prepared with special “Thanksgiving packages” to help feed every family that stops by.

“Our goal this year was to really gather foods that are specific to a Thanksgiving meal,” says Garcia. “We have mashed potatoes, stuffing, vegetables, and, of course, the turkeys.”

After she turns 18, Isabella says she plans to turn Give 3k into a non-profit charity, with the goal of making it a national event.

“At whatever college I attend, I want to expand Give 3k,” says Isabella. “I don’t want it to be something solely based in my community. I want it to go to all communities.”

Creating Give 3k took a lot of hard work, says Isabella. But she says she hopes other students can follow and do something similar to impact their community.

“I was 14 when I started this,” says Isabella. “By taking a small idea and working together, we were able to bring the community together. As long as you work hard to get it done, you can too.”