Shopping spree

Kids Helping Kids organizers check in Patterson volunteers during the shopping spree portion of last year's event Dec. 9, 2014, at Kohl's in Turlock.

Patterson High’s Kids Helping Kids initiative began in 2007 after a riot on campus made headlines.

Students wanted to change peoples’ perception of Patterson High, according to Diane Peterson, longtime coordinator of the group. Peterson is now retired, yet she is putting forth her time, along with students and teachers such as Mary Solorio-Brandt, to raise money to help kids in need.

Now, nine Christmases later, the group is going strong with community support.

“We will be going around next week to businesses asking them to donate for at least one kid at $150,” Peterson said.

The program continues to grow. In its beginnings, Kids Helping Kids students took 26 little ones shopping at Kohl’s in Turlock. Last year, Kids Helping Kids was able to take more than 100 children shopping for Christmas clothes and gifts by raising over $15,000.

This year, the group has $7,000 raised so far from recycling, donations, trick-or-treating and food courts with help from Mountain Mike’s Pizza. Kids Helping Kids hopes to meet or surpass last year’s totals.

The tentative date for taking the children shopping is Monday, Dec. 9. Volunteers are needed for chaperoning the group and driving to Turlock.

For more information, search “Patterson High School Kids Helping Kids” on Facebook or email

Maddy Houk can be reached at 892-6187 ext. 302 or

PI community reporter

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