Taft Rallies for One of Its Families

The Taft Community School community raised approximately $2,000 for a family who lost everything in a fire.

The “Community” in isn’t just part of its name. They really mean it. After a Taft family’s on Jan. 31, members in the school community organized a fundraiser to help them financially.

On Feb. 4, friends of the Serrato family organized a garage sale at Taft Community School. Dozens of community members, including Mayor Alicia Aguirre, supported the family and raised $2,000 for necessities like clothes and food.

“They didn’t have to give anything,” said Maria Serrato, one of the four members of the family whose trailer was completely destroyed. “But I just want to say ‘thank you’ and that we appreciate everything.”

Serrato explained that they didn’t have insurance on their trailer, and even if they wanted to, the insurance companies they spoke to wouldn’t insure trailer homes.

The Serratos are currently living with Serrato’s sister-in-law while they try to save enough money to buy another trailer so they can have a place to live. She said a small one could cost around $7,000.

“We don’t know when we’ll have a permanent home,” she said.

But beyond the money raised to get the family back on its feet, Serrato said the emotional support was invaluable. Community members Janet Borgens and Bonnie Miller through the Redwood City fire department’s Create A Smile Foundation and for the family.

“They are angels,” Serrato said.


Just One of Many Generous Acts

Serrato recalled another fundraiser last year that they had played an active role in, when young Irene Reyna, 14, was diagnosed with cancer, specifically Ewing's Sarcoma. The in a walk-a-thon to help the family pay medical bills.

Another Taft father of two sons said he was going to enroll his students at Sacred Heart Prepatory, a private school but was glad he changed his mind.

“This place feels like home,” he said. He called the fundraiser “amazing,” and another example of the community feel of Taft.

Taft Principal Patricia Pelino thanked for the community’s support.

“It really takes a village,” she said.

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