2022 CHLA Christmas Toy Drive


Alyssa Villa, Photography

This school year Mr. Escamilla held a Christmas toy drive in his classroom. Mr. Escamilla held this toy drive because one of his former students, Leslie Maldonado, class of 2020, reached out to him and asked if he wanted to help her donate toys to Children’s Hospital LA. Leslie did this because she was a patient at CHLA during her battle with brain cancer, and she had spent many holidays in the hospital. She did this so she could give kids who are spending their holidays in the hospital some toys. Many toys were donated including crayons, markers, bubbles, coloring books, playing cards, board games, dolls, action figures, and many more. 


  Mr. Escamilla agreed to help Leslie and started to ask students and staff to help with donations. “I asked the staff and students at SEMHS to help me with donations and like usual, SEMHS did an outstanding job of coming through to help others, and to help the patients at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles,” said Mr. Escamilla. 

According to Mr. Escamilla over 200 toys were donated to CHLA and this made him feel very good. “What a great feeling it is to help others, especially children who are unable to go home for Christmas due to medical reasons,” exclaimed Mr. Escamilla. On Friday December 2nd the toys were picked up by Leslie and her parents, and were loaded onto their truck so they could be taken to CHLA. “It was great to see the smiles on their faces when Leslie and her parents saw how many toys we were donating,” said Mr. Escamilla. 

It is unsure if there will be another toy drive for CHLA again next year, but Mr. Escamilla would be honored to hold one again if he is asked to. “Leslie and her family are very special to me as I got to know Leslie while she was in high school as her Home Studies Teacher while she battled cancer, beat it, and recovered!! It would be an honor to do it again next year,” said Mr. Escamilla. The CHLA toy drive this year was a success, and it shows how caring students and staff are at SEMHS. Hopefully if there is another toy drive next year, we can donate even more toys and help even more children in need during the holidays.