Taking Flight: Friends Flocking Together

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Medford, Ore. — Making friends in elementary school isn’t always easy, especially if a child stands out. That was the case for Angelica Sanchez. That is, until Sparrow Clubs stepped in.

Angelica said, “I’ve been through a lot of stuff.” That “stuff” started when she was just a baby. Angelica was born with only one kidney, her esophagus wasn’t attached to her stomach, along with other conditions impacting her skeletal system.

In her 9 years of life she has already had eight surgeries. Angelica’s Mom, Breanne Lange, said, “It’s constant doctor’s appointments, surgeries, and just being studied – not really any answers.”

The 9-year-old only has the use of half of her vertebrae and one should blade sits higher than the other. It can be painful, but even more than physically. Lange is worried about the emotional toll it’s taken on her daughter saying the hardest part of Angelica’s conditions is her not being accepted.

“She’s used to being bullied and picked on and other kids not knowing why she is the way she is,” Lange said.

But all of that changed with Sparrow Clubs. Wednesday morning Orchard Hill Elementary school celebrated a year of doing service to raise money for their classmate, Angelica.

The students adopted Angelica as their sparrow at the beginning of the year, committing to do 256 hours of sponsored-community service.

3rd grade student, Emily Cooper said, “I didn’t want to focus all on me this year, I wanted to help other people.”

Ara, another student in Angelica’s class, said, “I want her to know I want to be her friend and I want to help her.”

It’s students like that, Lange said, who have made a difference in Angelica’s day to day reality, “She doesn’t come home crying anymore.”

Surpassing their goal, the students did 295 hours of community service, raising $2,560.

The club at Orchard Hill Elementary was sponsored by Elmer’s Restaurants of Southern Oregon and Ms. Frances Chaney.

If you are interesting in sponsoring a club or donating to Sparrow Clubs, contact the regional director, Matt Sampson at matt@sparrowclubs.org.

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  1. Sharon Mehdi says:

    Loved the story about the Sparrow Club at Orchard Elementary. It gives me such hope that the good being done by open-minded, open-hearted children — often without fanfare or recognition — is helping heal this weary world of ours. Thank you, thank you, thank you to the teachers and parents who support this program and encourage their children to take part. And to Anjelica Sanchez — may all your tears from here on out be tears of joy.

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