December 22, 2004
A Mesa girl had one Christmas wish: Not a Barbie doll, not a Care Bear, not even a bicycle.
She wanted a mattress to sleep on.
It was a wish granted by the Stapley Junior High School national junior honor society, which joined schools throughout the East Valley in adopting local families and donating Christmas — from food, to presents, to blankets.
Students spent the last two weeks of school wrapping gifts and donating money, toys and supplies not covered by food stamps.
"It was a 12-year-old girl who asked for the mattress," said Ronda Doolen, Stapley’s nurse and honor society sponsor. "As you start to grow up, it becomes more important to have a mattress to sleep on."
While many of Stapley students are in the higher socioeconomic end of Mesa, students at all schools aimed to lend a hand.
Taylor Junior High School students collected dozens of blankets for Mesa families in need. And hundreds of students from Chandler to Scottsdale spent their last week of school delivering the special gifts.