The Vista View

Santa Claus is coming to Vista

"Wow! We really are making a difference here at Vista."

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Kaitlyn Heard, Co-Editor in Chief

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Along with the many organizations brought on campus to help deliver the Christmas spirit to the students of Vista Murrieta is Operation Santa Claus.

Inland Empire (IE) Operation Santa Claus comes from Cartwheel Gym and has been at Vista for two years now. The Murrieta Valley School District office has always been involved in the operation and last year when Vista was offered a child, Bonnie Cagigas, the school librarian, confidently took on the project and made it a tradition she hopes will continue year after year.

“We’re better than that. We’re Vista. We’re going to take on the whole thing,” said Cagigas.

To participate in the operation, students were allowed to bring in gifts of all sorts based off a designated child’s wishlist. Last year, the school decided to take on the task of gifting 120 foster kids with Christmas to make their season jolly. Our school successfully delivered their gifts to the library which contributed to the decision to participate again this year with a goal of 110 gifts.

Cagigas explained, “There were 565 Foster kids on the list this year and with us taking on 110 of them, we knocked out a lot of them. The items we collect are everyday essentials, which are what you and I take for granted: pillows, blankets, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, soap. After that, a backpack or bag to carry them in because when these children are taken, they are given a plastic grocery sack and anything that fits in that can go. We do what they would want, but also what they would need.”

For the most part, the children who are signed up to recieve gifts are teenagers, however there are some very young children who are on the list. Last year, there were about two babies compared to this year with ten to 15  children whose ages ranged from five months to 14.

“People want to give to the babies, but the babies aren’t the ones who can remember that they didn’t get a gift.”

The foster kids who are on the list are the ones who are registered to be on the list. However, there were many who were not placed on the list or were placed late on the list. This results in a child not receiving any gifts.

“That’s why we have a bin up there: for extra. That way, somebody will get something. Last year we had a bike, so someone got a bike.” Cagigas added, “It’s cool and emotional for us because the outpouring kindness at Vista is huge, and for us to be able to be a part of it, we’re just honored.”

Also, last year, a military women came by the school to drop off some gift cards before the event was wrapping up for the season. She saw the box in the front and started crying because when she was a young child in the foster care system, she recieved a pair of red shoes which she kept with her for the longest time. When she saw the gifts she had recognized that the gifts Vista was giving to the children were far beyond the generous idea that she thought the organization was about.

Cagigas said, “It was a moment where I thought, ‘Wow! We really are making a difference here at Vista.’”

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The student news site of Vista Murrieta High School
Santa Claus is coming to Vista