The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

The World Is Our Campus

The Arcadia Quill

AHS Pulls Together for the White Mountain Apaches Donation Trip

AHS loaded many donated items into the U-Haul

Every year, two staff members from Arcadia High School (AHS) attend a donation trip to the White Mountain Apaches. Dr. Michele Lew and Mr. Keith Kerney, both assistant principals here at AHS, were selected this year. It took them about 12 hours to reach their destination, which is just three hours outside of Globe, Arizona with AUSD’s amazing driver, Mr. Andrew Alvarez. The trip was for three days and two nights and was a very memorable experience for both Dr. Lew and Mr. Kerney. 

This trip was mostly made possible because the Student Council Apache Commission (SCAC) hosted the Ed Schreiner Memorial Toy and Jacket Drive earlier this year. The adviser of SCAC, Mrs. Heather Moore, partnered with Bella Martinez, a junior here at AHS, who was a huge help and looking to earn her Gold Award, the highest honorary award for Girl Scouts, by completing a project that benefits the world.

When asked what motivated her to devote her time and effort into this trip, Martinez said, “I heard there was a need to have the drive be organized in a more efficient way, and since I love helping people and organizing, I thought it would be a great project to choose for my Gold Award. The best part of the event was seeing everyone come together and make it happen! It was awesome to see how much our help meant to the tribe and how grateful they were.”

The donations go to the entire White Mountain Apache community. Many men, women, and children gathered around to receive items such as warm clothes, blankets, shoes, and most importantly, toys. Dr. Lew said, “The amount of donations was truly tremendous.” 

Irrespective of age group, the donation goes to the entire White Mountain Apache Community

This was thanks to SCAC, Link Crew, National Honor Society, and Seniors of Merit at Work who all volunteered and helped sort through boxes of donated items. They decided what would be good for donation and also assisted in boxing and loading the items into the U-Haul, which was rented through money from the SCAC, as well as through the Toy and Jacket Drive. 

As far as distribution went, this year AHS received help from the entire community, including the Latter Day Saints, which is the church where the event took place. Jacob Henry, who is part of the White Mountain Apache tribe, was great in leading the community and made sure everyone came together and contributed in preparing for distribution. 

Toy donations bring smiles

Mr. Kerney said, “The unloading process was a group effort, and it was nice seeing everyone come together the way they did.” 

When asked about the atmosphere at the event, Dr. Lew said, “The kids’ joy and excitement was absolutely infectious.” 

While attending the event, Dr. Lew spoke to a mom who was unemployed with seven children to provide for. The mother expressed how grateful she was and explained how without this drive, her kids would not have gotten any Christmas presents. 

During the trip, Dr. Lew and Mr. Kerney also visited the Dishchii’bikoh Community School. Both thought the school building was beautiful and learned it was modeled after a traditional Apache dwelling. 

Mr. Kerney and Dr. Lew at Dishchii’bikoh Community School

They also had the chance to speak to Ms. Hedy Kelewood, an Apache language teacher who said, “Our language is meant to evoke images and feelings. The idea is to have visualization when talking as colors are embedded into our language.” 

“The best part of the trip for me was seeing the generosity of the community, sharing themselves with us,” said Dr. Lew. “ The partnership was amazing, seeing how generous they were in sharing their culture.”

“My favorite part of the trip was the connection we made with the people,” said Mr. Kerney. “The impact we had, I feel the little change we made went a long way, and I loved that the most.”

Overall, Dr. Lew and Mr. Kerney had a great time on the trip and were very proud of the impact made and everyone involved in the trip. 


Photos courtesy of Dr. Lew

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