SCAC Ed Schreiner Memorial Toy and Jacket Drive

Harini Devaguptapu, Staff Writer

With the holidays and cooler temperatures coming up, it is essential for people to have access to the necessary resources to keep their needs fulfilled. In order to meet their needs and assist members of our community, the Student Council Apache Commission (SCAC) hosted its annual Ed Schreiner Memorial Toy and Jacket Drive from Nov. 28 to Dec. 4. Toys, clothes, jackets, and blankets that were new or lightly used were accepted. All the proceeds from this donation were given to White Mountain Apaches. This drive is named after Mr. Ed Schreiner who was the husband of the school secretary, Mrs. Terry Schreiner and an active member in the music booster club. He used to drive the truck full of donations to the White Mountain Apaches.

This drive was started in the 1990s to supply warm jackets for everyone and give holiday gifts for the children. The SCAC advisor, Heather Moore, shared how this drive has grown to include much more. 

When we donate, we are taking a moment to help other people who, by virtue of where they were born, are in a location that makes day-to-day life just that much harder,” she explained.

Moore talked about the specifics of this drive. According to her, the donations are directly given to the White Mountain Apaches in towns on the reservation that are struggling. Each year, the donations are alternately given to two towns: Cibecue, AZ, and Carrizo, AZ. She said that last year, the proceeds went to Cibecue, a town of 1,700 people at the southernmost tip of the White Mountain Apache reservation. This year, the donations are going to Carrizo, which is 19 miles from Cibecue with about 127 residents struggling with a lack of jobs and resources. 

Along with these troubles, due to the land being high up in the mountains, the people suffer from extremely cold weather in the winter. Providing them with the necessary winter clothing can take away a lot of suffering and keep them sheltered. 

Moore further elaborated on the importance of this drive. “The way I see it, this drive is about helping people. We live in Los Angeles County where there is access to thousands of opportunities in lots of different industries. We live in a place where we have everything we need in the same place, with lots of opportunities. We have the capability to give people the necessary resources they need,” she said.

On the White Mountain Apache reservation, “due to historical forces that left Native American communities across the country with submarginal land far away from population centers and transportation lines, people do not have access to the same opportunities that we do,” Moore explained. Along with that, there isn’t a population that can support a vibrant economy. 

The items collected from this donation will be making many people warm and cozy during this colder winter, and keep people happy with new clothing and toys during the season. Many people will be satisfied and thankful, have the weight of buying clothes off their shoulders, and be able to give children an extra special gift for the holidays. 

Ora Henry, Public Relations for District 1 Tribal Council talked about the impact this drive made to the people. “Aww, just to see the kids getting gifts and bikes was amazing…This year we had more kids than adults and it was a great turn out! I was happy to see that!”

“They even had a surprise visit from the White Mountain Apache Princess [who] joined in with the community and she had a lot of fun “So many pretty things but my mom [chose] a small car” she says.

Henry also shared his appreciation of the drive. “Wow, every year it [is] wonderful to see the staff members of Arcadia High School!!  [There] was a great turn out from the town of Carrizo and CBQ (Cibecue)!! Thank you so much!!”

“I am so thankful to Arcadia High School. Everyone who has thought of the White Mountain Apache People. I have seen so many thankful community members; they look forward to next year.  We have truly been blessed, I personally thank you all for putting such beautiful smiles on our kids and you know for some kids this is the only gift they will receive. So thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

These donations made a big impact to a lot of people this year, and they will be spending their holidays with relief and ease knowing that we can help, and support them. Let’s make sure we give to them as much as we can, so they can feel this happiness all the time.


Photos courtesy of Heather Moore