Stephany Chimayco has a passion for helping children. She teaches Sunday School at her church and was looking for a way to get more involved with other kids who are in need. The McArthur High School junior was especially concerned about foster care children who live at His House Children’s Home, a nonprofit organization dedicated to abandoned, abused and neglected children from newborns through age 18.

She shared her concerns and interest with close friend Elizabeth Hernandez.

“I had spent Thanksgiving with the children and I wanted to help them,” Chimayco said.

Hernandez shared the desire to help, and the two decided to get to work and make sure the more than 200 children in the foster home would have something to open for Christmas.

“We were able to bring in gifts for them,” Hernandez said.

The young women encouraged the students in Chimayco’s Algebra II class to donate items valued at $20 to $30. Her classmates responded positively and soon other students became involved. In all, the students brought in 230 gifts for the children.