Miles of Smiles Club to host holiday drive

Caty Szeto

The Miles of Smiles Club will support the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles with a Christmas drive.

Previously known as the Helping Hands Club, the Miles of Smiles Club is working in conjunction with the Holidays from the Heart program.

The program serves families who have a child in the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital and cannot afford to provide their families with what they need during the holidays.

The program collects donations for these families based on their specific needs. Hospital staff interviews and nominates families to benefit from these services, then produces a “needs list.” This list is used as a guideline for those who sponsor these families.

The Miles of Smiles Club has partnered with the organization in the hopes of helping the hospital’s financially challenged families alleviate some stress during the holiday season.

The club will provide both gifts and basic necessities for the children in the hospital.

The drive will start Nov. 30 and is set to end around Dec. 9 or 10.

Students have the option of bringing in actual Christmas gifts for the children or donating money to be used towards gifts.

Club members encourage students to bring in not only toys but also basic necessities.

Highly-requested donations include items such as pajamas, school supplies, household cleaning supplies and toiletries.

For health and safety reasons, the hospital staff requests that all donations be new and unused.

Items that have been opened or worn will not be accepted.

“We are so fortunate to have basic necessities and presents during the holiday season, but many of the children at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles cannot afford everyday items or even medical care to save their life,” club president Myria Chen ’18 said. “The Miles of Smiles Club aims to help these children who are less fortunate by raising awareness and holding events, like supporting a family for the Holidays from the Heart event. With the help of the Harvard-Westlake community, we can make it possible for these children to have a wonderful and joyous holiday.”