Aliso Niguel High School seniors Sam Rafizad and Zohal Noorzayee lead a school club called “Teens Fight Against Hunger.”
They used their remaining money from fundraisers plus new donations to raise $1,200, which they used to purchase Walmart gift cards.
The gift cards were then given to needy families within the Capistrano Unified School District.
Rafizad and Noorzayee, who will be attending UCLA and Chapman University respectively, founded the club during their sophomore year and have been organizing food drives ever since.
The club has become well known as the place to make donations of money and canned goods during the holiday season.
“Back when we first wanted to start the club and we were talking about what we wanted to do, I remember my first thought was that we’d be doing something more global so maybe raising money for different countries,” said Noorzayee, who is also ASB president. “I remember Sam pointing out that there are so many families right in our own neighborhood that need help and are in need of assistance who are always overlooked. So then we knew we wanted to do something for the families in our district.”
The exciting part, Noorzayee said, is that even though they started the club in high school, they both plan to continue to keep it going after graduation.
Since their sophomore years, the Teens Fight Against Hunger club has helped more than 100 families.
“I think definitely it is a great club and we’ve learned a lot about the entire process and you definitely appreciate more of what the district is able to do and how they are able to help out,” Rafizad said. “You definitely become aware that there are people who are less fortunate who depend on day by day where is their next food source going to come from. You just become more grateful and just thankful that we can help out and give back to the community.”