Sandy Chavez, center coordinator for the Salvation Army, expressed her appreciation of assistance received during the Feb. 12 school board meeting.

The Tehachapi Unified School District's board of trustees was recognized during the Feb. 12 school board meeting for its ongoing assistance in support of the local Salvation Army.

Sandy Chavez, coordinator for the center, addressed the trustees and gave a heartfelt show of emotion while listing a number of examples of how the Salvation Army has benefited from school-related contributions.

In October 2018, Chavez said, the Salvation Army received a $900 donation from the Cummings Valley Elementary School's Cougars, money which went toward the center's food pantry.

Also in October, Chavez said, the Salvation Army received 6,525 pounds of canned food from Tompkins Elementary School's Tigers. In December, Tehachapi High School raised an additional 3,000 pounds in its canned food drive for the center.

So, where did all that food go?

According to Chavez, the pantry donations made for another successful holiday season for the Salvation Army, which distributed 350 food baskets to local families for Thanksgiving and an additional 340 food baskets for Christmas.

"My favorite is the unclaimed coats that all of your schools have collected, and guess where they end up? My office," laughed Chavez.

Once again, TUSD gave the Salvation Army permission to use the gymnasium at Monroe High School to distribute food baskets and to host its annual Coat Drive.

"I just want this district to know that you guys are the unsung heroes for the Salvation Army because we could not be able to do all this in our facility because it is so small," said Chavez. "You guys help us meet the need, and I want you to know how grateful we are for that and thankful."

Chavez said the Salvation Army also benefited from the assistance of the kitchen staff at Jacobsen Middle School during the annual Breakfast with Santa event, which served more than 300 families.

Said Chavez, "We could not do the holidays and serve the families that we serve without this district and its facilities."

Interim Superintendent Paul Kaminski responded by saying the Salvation Army, in turn, provides valued services, such as the after-school program.

"It works both ways," Kaminski said. "You are our great neighbors, and we appreciate what you do for our students as well."