LA PUENTE, CA – Van Wig Elementary fourth-graders wrote colorful letters with messages of healing and hope to accompany 53 handmade blankets and 13 knitted beanies from Bassett Unified’s seven schools to support young cancer patients at the City of Hope hospital.

“I hope the letters and blankets make the kids feel better and make their families happy,” Van Wig fourth-grader Robert Garza said. “I wanted to tell them that I believe they will be healthy again.”

Fourth-grade teacher Flavio Castaneda encouraged his students to write the letters so that patients could receive personalized messages with the blankets.

“My students really committed to the task of thinking about others,” Castaneda said. “I wanted them to show empathy because we never know what is happening with other people and life does not always turn out the way we plan.”

Teachers, staff and students across Bassett Unified learned about the history of the hospital and how the cancer center helps to heal its patients. Each school received fleece materials with patterns ranging from bright florals and music notes to Mickey and Minnie Mouse, to bring warmth and comfort to the patients’ lives.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to give back to the community and to understand that helping others can be as simple as writing a heartfelt letter,” Bassett Unified Interim Superintendent Debra French said. “At Bassett, we are a community committed to helping others and showing support in every way that we can.”


112817_BASSETT_CITYOFHOPE1: Fourth-graders from Bassett Unified’s Van Wig Elementary wrote letters of support to children at City of Hope hospital to accompany fleece blankets handmade at each of the District’s seven schools. Bassett Unified initiated the blanket donation drive to bring warmth and comfort to young cancer patients.