The Cambrian

Coast Union High School Interact Club helps meet needs, grant wishes

When the free annual Needs & Wishes event is held Saturday, Dec. 13, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Los Osos, members of the Coast Union High School Interact Club will once again be front and center, helping the homeless in San Luis Obispo County.

Club members are collecting change again, and it all adds up (especially when people stuff $20 and $100 bills in the big jug … yes, it has happened). 

According to Richard Margetson of Los Osos, in the club’s first four years of participating, it has donated about $14,000. Students are expected to be collecting donations at Cambria’s Friday farmers market on Dec. 5, 12 and 19, he said.

This year, all funds raised will benefit the Maxine Lewis Memorial Shelter, the Transitional Food and Shelter and the SLO Noor Foundation, a nonprofit that offers free health clinics for the uninsured.

But there’s another, less tangible benefit, Margetson told the Cambria Community Services District Board of Directors on Nov. 20: Donors are helping create very special memories for the industrious Interact club members, memories about helping others and good-hearted, generous North Coast residents.

Margetson recalled when CSD Director Muril Clift asked club members whether, in their change collecting, they also accepted folding money. He was waving a $20 bill at the time. Margetson said that later, the teens decided to convert all the donated folding money to coins — not a good idea. “It was so heavy, they had to bring it in on a dolly. They don’t do that anymore,” he said to laughter from the board and audience members. He asked people to “help them with a Hallmark moment, please.”

The Dec. 13 event at the South Bay Community Center, 2180 Palisades Ave., is to include baked goods, crafts and gifts for all ages. Entertainment goes all day, and includes Santa Claus. Visitors are encouraged to buy an extra gift and put it in the bin for Cal Fire’s Operation Santa toy drive.

For details, call 528-5800.