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De Anza College child education, advocacy club contributes to community Puerto Rico relief efforts

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De Anza College’s Child Educator and Advocate Association student club held a donation drive for Puerto Rico on Wednesday, Nov. 15 and Thursday, Nov. 16 in the cafeteria and Child Development Center (CDC).

“This was an opportunity for me to engage [the club] as their advisor in doing something for the people of Puerto Rico,” said Mayra Cruz, instructor of child development and education and advisor to the Child Educator and Advocate Association, who recently came back from a trip visiting family and friends living in Puerto Rico.

According to data provided by FEMA and CNN, just 40 percent of Puerto Rico’s power has been restored 6 weeks after Hurricane Maria made landfall, and officials are unsure how much of this electricity is actually able to reach the island’s residents.

“Part of what we do in child development is prepare teachers to work with young children,” said Cruz. “To advocate for children, for families, and for communities, particularly for communities that often times are not getting to be at the table.”

The De Anza based drive was centered around collecting diapers, baby formula, batteries, flashlights, baby food, feminine products, and cash donations, with the most commonly donated items being baby and feminine supplies.

“We did get a lot of response here in the main quad from the students and teachers, as well as over there [CDC] from parents who bring their children to childcare,” said club officer Jocelyn Lazo, 18, child development.

The donation drive was part of Levanta Puerto Rico, or Puerto Rico Rises, a larger effort in the San Jose community to collect necessities to send to Puerto Rico. The effort lasted through Saturday Nov. 18 and Sunday Nov. 19, and included nine firehouses and one police station.

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