The KKIS Project President, Gayle Collins, had contacted the music teacher at Jose Espana Cruz school, a public junior high school in the Colosio neighborhood on Calle 104 and Ave. 10. She, in turn, gathered 35 applications from students that she knew could use help with school supplies. About 1/3 of these families could not be reached by telephone but we packed the others and spent a Saturday afternoon meeting new people and hearing new stories.One girl’s grandmother told us that her younger grandaughter would be beginning junior high school this Fall but was nervous as she had been left bald due to chemotherapy for leukemia. Of course we wanted to help this child, and arranged to meet her back at the school the next day.
A man on a three wheeled bike selling steamed corn that he served on a stick slathered with mayonnaise, grated cheese and hot chili powder rode by singing at full voice. He stopped to serande us and asked what we were doing. We explained the KKIS Project and took an application for his daughter who is attending a technical school. He returned the next day with her to turn in her application and this time we purchased his corn too. Other families came from behind closed doors to ask for help. One tiny girl who received a Dora the Explorer backpack did not take it off the whole afternoon. We ended up filling just about the same number of applications we had anticipated but to totally different people.