From the Heart scholarships continue

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Wanda Crawford, left, and Christina James of From the Heart Christian Women’s Ministries are asking 2020 high school seniors to apply to the group’s scholarship program. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo

From the Heart Christian Women’s Ministries is asking local Hamilton High School seniors to apply for their laptop and financial scholarship awards again this year.

The charitable group has been offering new laptops since 2007, and financial scholarships beginning in 2009.

“We know that this is a difficult time for our seniors this year,” From the Heart president Christina James said. “We want to make sure that they know how much we love and appreciate them. We will still have computers as well as financial scholarships for them. It is just going to be different this year.”

Most likely, an awards event will not occur this year due to stay at home orders implemented indefinitely by the county.

Dr. Cameron Kaiser, public health officer of Riverside County, ordered the closure of the county’s schools as officials stepped up the fight against the spread of coronavirus. The order, effective Monday, March 16, ordered a school closure, not a dismissal, of all Riverside County public schools. This order also applied to preschools, charter schools, private schools and all colleges and universities in Riverside County.

Hamilton High School seniors and their families were devastated by the disruption of the students’ last year of high school. No prom, no formal graduation and no camaraderie is possible under the county orders.

The women at From the Heart mean to continue with their annual scholarships, regardless of the circumstances, working within the annual framework to reward several students of the 2020 graduating class.

To apply, the 12th grader may contact James on Facebook Messenger or text 951-595-2400 and request that the application be emailed to them. The deadline for applications is May 15.

“We have received a few forms so far and are just waiting for the rest,” James said. “We are so very proud of our senior class. They can be going to a university, community college or a trade school and be eligible to apply.”

The amount of the financial scholarships and number of laptops are contingent upon the donations received by From the Heart.

“It really depends on how much money we have,” James said. “We do different denominations depending on what we have. Last year we gave out six laptops and six $300 scholarships and one $100 scholarship. I am not sure that we’ll be able to do that this year as we are working on donations and this COVID-19 thing has really slowed us down. There are more fundraising events planned, and I am going to try to do a virtual rummage sale. Hopefully we get something out of that, too.”

The nondenominational women’s ministry serves the needs of children living in the Anza Valley and surrounding communities. It raises funds to buy Christmas gifts, fill and give away backpacks to school children and assist those local children that may be disadvantaged, focusing on families and children in need in the mountain communities of Anza, Aguanga, Mountain Center and Idyllwild.

To learn more about the From the Heart Christian Women’s Ministries, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/115200731856938/about.

To make a donation to the scholarship fund, send a check or money order to From the Heart Christian Women’s Ministries, P.O. Box 391224, Anza, CA 92539.

Diane Sieker can be reached by email at dsieker@reedermedia.com.