MERCED — For the fifth year, members of the Valley Vintage Car Club took their stylish rides to a set of portable buildings on 13th Street next to Highway 99 and unloaded trunks full of presents for a classroom of special education students, according to a news release from Nathan Quevedo, public information officer for the Merced County Office of Education.
The car club visited the students at the Wolfe Education Center next to MCOE on Thursday, Dec. 20, to deliver the gifts and bring holiday cheer.
Yvonne James, president of the car club, said, "They are such lovely young people. Regardless of what we bring them, they appreciate it."
Most of the 15 students in the severely disabled class go to vocational work sites in Merced, such as Paul's Place, Forgotten Treasures and the Media Center at Tenaya Middle School, according to Quevedo.
"We want to make sure we give our students every opportunity to succeed after they leave the program," said Marcy Gamble, instructor for the severely disabled at MCOE.
Car club members delivered the gifts they'd bought to the students' classroom on the last day of school before the holiday break, according to Quevedo. This year, the club also bought surprise gifts for the classroom such as cameras, baking items and a shredder.
"I've been really impressed and grateful with our community. They have embraced our students and have demonstrated the true meaning of the Christmas season," Gamble said. Students performed Christmas-themed songs for the car club and family members who came to celebrate, according to Quevedo.
James said she enjoys all aspects of the gift-giving, from buying the presents, to wrapping them and then bringing them to the students.
"As long as I'm president of this car club, we'll keep doing this," she said.