A positive impact

CHS senior is collecting items for Mexican orphanage

Camas High School student Megan Baffaro has taken her desire to help people and turned it into a senior project.

For the past few months, Baffaro has been collecting donations for a children’s home in Mexico called Love in Action, which shelters children who have been abandoned, abused and orphaned.

She was inspired to help after her dad, who works at Hewlett-Packard in east Vancouver, volunteered for the organization during a business trip to Guadalajara.

“He sent me photos and told me how much fun it was to work with the kids,” Baffaro said. “I baby-sit a lot and really like kids, so it made me wish I could do something to help them.”

She turned her wish into reality with a “Love in Action,” senior project. Baffaro is collecting donations of pajamas, slippers, colored pencils, coloring books and card games for the orphanage. Residents range in age from 6 to 17 years old.

Despite the winter weather, which resulted in nine canceled school days, Baffaro has been pleased with the response to her collection requests.

“Everyone has been really positive,” she said. “High school students aren’t always known for their generosity toward others, but everyone has really stepped up, including the Camas community.”

Baffaro has spent much of her teen years volunteering at organizations such as the Portland Children’s Museum, Southwest Washington Humane Society and Oregon Food Bank, so collecting items for kids in need was a natural progression.

“I really enjoy volunteering,” she said. “It’s a passion of mine.”

In addition to the collection efforts, Baffaro has organized a pen pal program between students in CHS Spanish classes, and teens living at the orphanage.

“It makes me feel really good that everyone is so enthusiastic and positive about this,” she said. “A lot of kids in the orphanage have been abused or neglected, so they do not have the most positive childhood experiences.”

Donations can be donated at the main office at CHS, 26900 S.E. 15th St.

For more information, e-mail meganbaffaro@yahoo.com.