Hugs warm homeless hearts

The Holy Spirit works through members of A Warm Hug Foundation to help San Diegos homeless population.

Photo by Sydney Calhoun

The Holy Spirit works through members of A Warm Hug Foundation to help San Diego’s homeless population.

Sydney Calhoun, Staff Writer

While most upperclassmen are busy studying for the SATs and watching Netflix all day, a group of Cathedral Catholic High School students have gone out of their way to start a philanthropic organization called A Warm Hug Foundation.

According to the groups’ Founder Carolina Salome ‘16, the philanthropic work started in Mexico as a simple hobby.

Salome and her friends began collecting items for children every December during the holiday season. The girls hoped to incorporate that work into their daily lives, and in an effort to do so, they fundraised and designed their social media platform to attract more attention from the public.

Currently, they venture year round throughout San Diego, personally interacting with homeless living in America’s Finest City.

“We are so fortunate to have an opportunity to see the smile on the people’s faces when we help them,” Co-founder Katya Aguilar ‘17 said. “We believe that it’s extremely important for kids our age to start gaining awareness of our world. We cannot change the world, we are just a couple of kids, but we sure can make it better little by little.”

San Diego is home to many nonprofit organizations and charity shelters that help the homeless, but it is not every day a group of high school students can be seen on 15th street, an area in downtown San Diego where many homeless people live.

While the group does not profess to be on the same scale as Missionaries of Charity or St. Vincent DePaul, it does represent the compassionate hearts and youthful minds society needs to reverse this crisis.

In a time of economic downfall and prejudice, it is people like these students who make the world and San Diego a better place, Salome said.

A Warm Hug Foundation recently hosted an event at the World Beat Center in Balboa Park, where more than 350 students from CCHS, Our Lady of Peace and Mater Dei High School showed the humane spirit of San Diego’s Catholic school community.

“I have seen these girls from the start and their success is truly jaw dropping. They inspire not only the teenagers around them to get involved, but the world,” Analyza Jenkins’ 17 said.  “AWHF to me means unity. We come together as one to show that economic status has no meaning when it comes to love and compassion.”