Galicia-Cooper hopes for smiles with new club

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Yearning to do more beyond the school campus, sophomore Angel Galicia-Cooper created the Little Hearts Club to uplift the spirits of children in hospitals. The club plans to make toys and gifts to deliver to hospitals.

Having a passion for making kids happy, Galicia-Cooper is eager to work through the club to positively impact them.

“I’ve always loved kids,” Galicia-Cooper said. “It touches me to see kids [being themselves and] it’s sad that they are being deprived of a normal childhood [to spend it] in the hospital.”

Aside from her love of children, Galicia-Cooper additionally holds interest in the medical field, believing “this club is a good way to [explore] both [of her passions].”

“I’m actually very interested in pediatrics,” Galicia-Cooper said. “I love helping others so either [going into] nursing or being a speech therapist for kids is my dream [job].”

By creating gifts and toys to deliver to the hospitals, the club hopes to bring joy to those who need it. The secretary of the club, sophomore Yeleina Monroy, explains how “this is a good club [with] a really good cause.”

“It helps little kids out in the hospital who might just need a smile on their face,” Monroy said.

Spanish teacher Cruz McPherson was pleasantly surprised when Galicia-Cooper asked her to be the adviser of the club.

“This is my first time as a club adviser,” McPherson said. “[But] it’s great to [see] students collaborating and making a difference in a child’s life.”

Recently, the club produced batches of Halloween-themed gift bags including toys, personalized notes, and much more, tailored in hopes of gaining the attention of the children. These are the first batch of many more to come.

“I hope that the kids feel loved and feel better, [and] that people who don’t even know them care enough to send presents,” Galicia-Cooper said. “[I hope they know] that people are thinking about them and that they are not alone in their fight to get better.”

Being in its developing stages, McPherson plays a significant role in ensuring the workings of the club.

“[We] have been meeting on a regular basis to discuss club enrollment, club activities, fundraising events, and to schedule upcoming meetings,” McPherson said. “Meetings are held in my classroom, and I able to participate in the meetings, contribute supplies for gifts bags, and also deliver the gift bags.”

Despite being a newly founded club, the turnouts to meetings do not disappoint.

“I thought only 10 people would come to the meeting [but] that whole classroom was filled,” Galicia-Cooper said. “I was really surprised, but I think people just have the heart to come out and just be a light to those kids in the hospital.”

Applications were reviewed over carefully to ensure that the top 48 people would be able to contribute their work to the club.

“We wanted to see who was genuinely interested in helping kids and [would] put others before themselves,” Galicia-Cooper said. “All the responses were great [and] it was really difficult choosing people.”

The first set of festive gifts were delivered on Oct. 13 to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles by the cabinet members themselves. The club awaits for their next projects, keeping in mind their goal to uplift children as they navigate these gifts throughout the year.

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