On Nov. 30, 2018, the student-body of Hillrise Elementary School held its 4th annual “Blessing Bag Donation Drive.” Every student participated, distributing more than 180 bags which were assembled by students for people currently homeless in the Las Cruces community.

Students from Hillrise Elementary School preparing Blessing Bags to donate to people fighting homelessness in Las Cruces.

Every year, students from Hillrise and their families generously help to collect hygiene products such as, soap, shampoo, socks, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and other items, which they use to donate to those fighting homelessness. The charity event began four years ago, when a student expressed a desire to help those with little to no resources. With the help of the ENLACE students from Mayfield High School, approximately 75 bags were completed that first year.

“Over the years, there has been a gradual increase in the number Blessing Bags made, and this year over 180 bags were assembled,” said Principal of Hillrise Elementary Karin Hite.” Our first grade students and teachers would like to thank the students, staff, and parents of Hillrise for their generous donations, our wonderful custodians for preparing the cafeteria for the event, and David Morales and the ENLACE students of Mayfield for working with us on this worthy service project.”

Students from Hillrise Elementary School and students from the ENLANCE Program at Mayfield High School finish assembling Blessing Bags to donate to people fighting homelessness in Las Cruces.

Once donations were gathered, first grade students from Hillrise collaborated with the students from the Engaging Latino Communities for Education program at Mayfield High School in preparing the bags. The Blessing Bags were then donated to the Mesilla Valley Community of Hope.

“The fact that this donation drive stemmed from a student who had a desire to help those less fortunate in our community, is a blessing in itself,” said Superintendent for Las Cruces Public Schools Dr. Greg Ewing. “Four years later, now more students are involved, helping even more people than ever before. We are proud of everyone at Hillrise Elementary and Mayfield High School for their caring support and generous donations to people who need it most in our community.

— Samantha Lewis, LCPS Public Relations Coordinator, 575-527-5946, slewis@lcps.net