image - doughnuts
Students at El Granada Elementary School held a doughnut sale to raise money for the Salvation Army, which is aiding in Camp Fire relief efforts. Sarah Griego Guz/Review

The fifth-grade students at El Granada Elementary School came up a sweet idea to raise money for the Camp Fire victims. On Nov. 28, they staged a doughnut sale during morning recess. 

The students worked tirelessly to serve up cinnamon sugar twists and chocolate glazed. Four-hundred doughnuts were offered up for sale, and donations were also collected. At the end of the day, $820 had been raised.

The idea was the inspiration of one girl, Camilla Villalobos. She got the idea after reading a book in class. 

“We read a book, a couple of books actually, that are about refugees in Sudan,” said fifth-grade teacher Laurie McMahon. “Once the main character in one of the stories came to the United States as a refugee, he started a foundation called Water for South Sudan. He drills wells so that people can have clean water and not have to walk forever to get it. 

“After we read the book, the kids wanted to do something to support, to fundraise basically,” she continued. “We were all set to do the Water for South Sudan and then the fires happened. I talked to Camilla and asked her if she would like to do this instead and she made a decision to help the campfire victims.” 

A video promoting the doughnut sale was made and posted to the El Granada School website. Villalobos, along with three other classmates, made their case for raising money for the Camp Fire victims. 

The video worked. On the day of the doughnut sale, long lines of hungry students snaked around the multipurpose room, up the sidewalk and along the exterior walls of some of the classrooms. The fifth-grade students worked in shifts. Aya Naito, Daisy Lopez, Mariana Peregino, Ronin Halwani and John Elizondo hustled to dole out the doughnuts.

“We are doing this for the fire victims,” said Lopez as she took a break near the end of her shift. “We’re giving the money to the Salvation Army.” 

“We feel really bad for them, so we’re raising money to help them,” added Elizondo. 

Yaneli Vazquez, Malia McDevitt and Sarah Stanfield chatted while they waited patiently for their doughnuts. For McDevitt, the sale hit very close to home. Her grandpa John was impacted by the fire and is now staying with her family. 

“My mom was very sad and scared and so was I, until my grandpa came down to the house,” McDevitt said. “My mom was so relieved.” 

“Our students really have a big heart and want to help other people,” said El Granada Elementary principal Martha Ladd. “We’re really sorry there’s been this big tragedy but we’re glad to have an opportunity to help out.” 

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