Inspiring the Valley: More than 2,500 students use their hands to make a difference

Inspiring the Valley

Happening in Fresno, pairs of hands are working on a project that will help someone else in the community.

“For me, this means that I can have a chance to help others who need help and that I’m helping people and that I’m helping them live a better life than they are right now,” says Ariana Escutia, student at Jackson Elementary.

Ten-year-old Escutia is just one of more than 2,000 kids who spent a weekend morning at Chukchansi Park in downtown Fresno as part of You Matter Day, a curriculum taught in Fresno County schools

“We have so many valley kids that want to make a difference, they really want to help others but they don’t know how. So having events like this really teaches them how they can make a difference,” says Jim Yovino with the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools.

The students worked their way through five different work stations. They packed supplies for familes who stay at Terry’s House when their loved one is in the hospital. They put together art supply kits for foster youth, and little hands filled bags with produce to donate to the food pantry.

OK Produce has been involved with You Matter Day from the start.

“It really warms my heart because when it first started we only had a few hundred people and now we have over 2,500 kids today,” says Matty Matoian, with OK Produce.

2,500 pair of hands made blankets for kids in hospitals, filling joy bags for local farm workers, showing good works will ripple throughout the community.

“They are each doing 8 or 10 good things today, that’s 18 to 20 thousand cool things that will spread into our community,” says Brady Matoian, with OK Produce.

Matt Emersian started this whole movement with Every Monday Matters; it was his way of teaching all of us that we can make a difference.

“Just to come here and to feel like OK this is the good work, like this is the stuff that warms my heart. It just makes it special, emotional,” says Matt Emerzian with Every Monday Matters.

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