PHOTO COURTESY OF ALYSSA TAN Wanting to give back to their alma mater, alumni Alyssa Tan (left) and Jimmy Huynh (right) stopped by the school to take a few nostalgic photos before delivering the rest of the gifts to families.

Alumni, Lotus Property Services Inc. sponsors families

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Recalling the challenges classrooms were facing amidst a pandemic, alumni Alyssa Tan and Jimmy Huynh, along with the Lotus Property Services Inc., sponsored 20 local families, three of which are from the school. Necessities and other supplies were delivered to the families on Dec. 23.

2006 graduates Tan and Huynh, currently a math tutor at the school, initially discussed several months prior regarding how the Lotus Property Services Inc. annually sponsors struggling families during the holidays. As Tan is also the Controller-Director of Human Resources at the company, she reached out to Huynh, who then brought the idea to the administration.

“Huynh mentioned how a lot of students have to turn off their cameras while on Zoom because many students did not have the best ideal living situations,” Tan said. “And so, I reached out to him to see if there were any families in need who we could potentially help.”

Many of the selected families were severely affected by COVID-19, either by the death(s) of a family member, loss of income, and the ongoing struggle to battle the coronavirus. Each family was requested to create a wish list for household needs and gift ideas for kids, if any. The families asked to remain anonymous.

“One parent stated they received shoes, shirts, underwear, socks, and other hygiene items,” Assistant Principal of Instruction Amy Wu said. “They also received gift cards to purchase food. It was very helpful because the daughter is the only one working to support the family, and she has been off work for a month because she has COVID-19. They are very grateful to all for keeping them in mind and providing this help to them.”

Through conducting these donations, Huynh, who continuously assisted the community throughout his days in high school, said “it just felt really good to give back.”

“It opened up my eyes to see how so many people are struggling, but I do not know their stories,” Huynh said. “As an educator, I try to understand what they are going through. It is more difficult during distance learning, and most students do not ask for help.”

As these donations were during an unprecedented time, Principal Debbie Stone was both proud and appreciative of these former students. 

“San Gabriel High School is like a family,” Stone said. “When things get tough, our community reaches out and helps each other.”

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