Photo of Fruchthendler choir singing at retirement center

Tucson Unified filled with Holiday Helpers

Updated 12/22/16

Every year at Tucson Unified schools, holiday helpers can be found in abundance! Whether it's a business or organization reaching out to help our students or it's our students reaching out to help others, the season of giving is strong in the district. Here are a few of the holiday helper stories we have heard about so far. Please send your info to so that we can spread the good word about what's happening at your school.

Photo of items collected for families

Fructhendler Elementary adopts families

For 20 years, Fruchthendler Elementary has adopted families in need throughout the Tucson Unified community.

This year they adopted 13 families. Parents and students wrapped toys, household items, food and clothing, and local businesses donated bikes.

Students and their parents get to deliver the items to the families in person. It's a great learning experience and a way can give back to our community.

Photo of items collected for families

Utterback given tinsel, lights and more to make the school merry and bright!

Home Depot, Lowes and Walgreens donated lights, wrapping paper, tinsel and other items to the Utterback Middle School of the Performing Arts student council. Members of the council, advisers and parents will participate in the Downtown Festival of Lights Parade on Dec. 17.

Lineweaver choir spreads cheer

Lineweaver Elementary school choir members in third through fifth grade are traveling to four assisted living facilities this month to spread holiday cheer and perform a 35-minute concert for the residents. The performers will also deliver hand-craft cards made by their classmates.

Photo of Lineweaver choir at assisted living center
Photo of Lineweaver choir at assisted living center

Henry Elementary provides holiday food boxes for families

Henry Elementary School has adopted their own families in need. Each class collects canned food items and makes food boxes for the winter holidays. Students are helped by an anonymous benevolent volunteer, St. Paul's Methodist Church, Eastside Covenant Church and others. This year, the school aims to help 32 families.

Photo of food boxesPhoto of food boxesPhoto of food boxes

Steele students receive needed winter clothes

Students at Steele Elementary were treated to new winter clothing, thanks to the Elks Lodge. The Elks Lodge has been bringing holiday cheer to students in need for the past thirty years, according to member Rich Botkin, who organized the event with Steele. More information >>

Photo of Sabino students with donations

Sabino collects food and toys to share with the community

Sabino High School students have been busy holiday helpers! The Student Council held a food drive and collected more than 3,000 cans and non-perishable food items for the Southern Arizona Community Food Bank. The driver said it was the second-largest donation he has ever picked up. Sabino is also collecting toys for the Marine Reserve's Toys-for-Tots during the school's "Live to Give Week" from December 12 to December 16. Sabino challenged other TUSD student councils to join in the campaign, and Sahuaro and Rincon accepted the challenge!

Photo of Sabino students with donations

Direct Link families receive turkeys, pies and fixings!

Direct Link was the grateful recipient of turkeys, pies and all the fixings through Susan Essington, one of its teachers. About 48 families who received food. Susan picked everything up and delivered about 20 to Pistor Middle School and the rest to families with children who are too sick to be in school at the present time. Special thanks to Vicki Hult, who is described as the angel from Mt. Zion Lutheran Church. She is in charge of the Social Ministry and got everything herself with funds donated from members.

Photo of Staff fixing sock gifts Photo of Socks

GATE Department fills stockings with goodies!

The GATE Department gathered up items such as treats, gloves, toothbrushes, small notebooks, and First Aid Kits for the 2016 Southside Christmas Sock Project. Socks were filled with the items and given to the Southside Presbyterian Church where they will be handed out to the homeless.

Photo of Staff fixing sock gifts Photo of Socks

South Tucson Lions Club treats Mission View students to shoes and clothing

The South Tucson Lions Club sponsored 25 students from Mission View to get shoes from Payless and new clothes at JC Penney. Students also received toys and scarfs. The school community thanks the South Tucson Lions for continuing sponsoring Mission View Students and for making their holiday season bright!

Photo of students buying shoes Photo of students buying shoes Photo of students buying shoes Photo of students buying shoes

Mission View and Ochoa students get shoes, lunch, and jackets!

Thirty students from Mission View Elementary and thirty students from Ochoa Community Magnet had the opportunity to go to Famous Footwear to get free shoes and socks, eat lunch at McDonalds and pick out a jacket from JC Penney. This was made possible by South Tucson community partners including Michael Ford, South Tucson Chief of Police; Lorenzo Gonzalez, South Tucson City Planner; and Maria Vianey Cardenas, Mission View's School Community Liaison.

Photo of jackets for students
Photo of jackets for studentsPhoto of students with police officer
Photo of South Tucson community partners
Photo of Sabino students with boxes of collected toys

Sabino students collect Toys for Tots

Sabino High Schoolís student council collected 211 toys for the Marine Reserve's Toys-for-Tots campaign and once again won the Champion Plaque for bringing in the most items. What a wonderful example of the Sabercat generosity and pride!

Tucson High Student Council gives back

The Tucson High Student Council is giving back to the community by organizing a holiday Toy Drive to help Casa San Juan deliver gifts to children in need. Toys were donated to boys and girls between 3-13 years old. Thank you, Badgers, for bringing joy to families in need this holiday season.

Photo of student with gifts and toys Photo of student with gifts and toys

School Safety Officers spread holiday joy

Tucson Unified School Safety Officers spread holiday joy to children at several of our schools. Pictured here are deliveries to Lynn-Urquides Elementary School. Officers also visited Dietz-K-8 an John B. Wright. One of the children was particularly astonished by the generosity. She stared at a table of gifts for several minutes and then said, "I canít choose one." What a shock and surprise when she learned that they were all for just her! The event was filled with joy and tears. And that was just the grownups.

Photo of student with gifts and toys Photo of student with gifts and toys