Students handcraft and donate baskets for children’s shelter.
By Eddie Chozet
At 7 years old, mortuary science sophomore Miranda Gonzales discovered a passion for putting a smile on a person’s face.
Gonzales and her brother-in-law would go door-to-door to the roughest places in Fort Smith, Ark., and invite the prostitutes and drug addicts to their Friday church service.
“Every single Saturday we would go out with a bag of brochures and Little Debbie cakes and invite them, in hopes of helping these people change their life around,” Gonzales said.
Today, her love of service has transpired into organizing multiple charity drives – from orchestrating more than $20,000 worth of donations for military families to hand-crafting Easter baskets for a San Antonio children’s shelter.
This year, Gonzales and mortuary science sophomore Cecilia Lopez brainstormed the idea of donating Easter baskets to The Children’s Shelter at 2939 W. Woodlawn Ave., a location randomly selected by Gonzales.
It all started last Christmas, after a gift-wrapping event that mortuary science Instructor Mary Martin and Lopez did in December; Lopez and Gonzales asked for the department’s help in assembling and donating Easter baskets.
“The mortuary science department was excited and willing to help out any way they could when we reached out to them,” Lopez said.
Mortuary science sophomore John Segura was also intrigued by the idea.
He contacted Gonzales and recruited members of the Lift program, a program through Sunset Funeral Home that takes widowers out once a week to dine and help with the grieving process.
Volunteers from all over campus, along with the Lift members, assembled a total of 105 baskets.
The baskets consisted of crayons, coloring books, healthful snacks, non-violent toys and traditional Easter goodies.
The team was short about $100 in donated items, which came out of Gonzales’ and Lopez’s pocket.
Volunteers delivered Easter baskets to the shelter March 26, for distribution Easter Sunday.
“There are about 50 children at the emergency shelter right now and another 40 at the residential treatment shelter for children who have been there a longer period of time,” Gonzales said.
For Gonzales and Lopez, their efforts brightened a small group of souls in San Antonio, but will likely make a huge difference in the children’s lives
“I love to volunteer,” Gonzales said.