When it comes to volunteers, Zavala Elementary School has its star.
They call her Miss Angie. Angie Gutierrez started volunteering when her daughter was three years old. That was 36 years ago."I love these, kids, i just love 'em. Nobody knows how much I love 'em," Miss Angie told KRIS 6 News.
And everyone feels the warmth of her love.
"When she walks in its like she lights up the room. You know when Miss Angie walks in," Principal Jaime Gonzales said.
School officials say she's a pillar in the community.
"For someone to do that that long, and consistent, I mean, that shows you what she's made of, what's in her core, and it really is her love for the kids," Gonzales continued.
But Miss Angie says there was a time when a her health almost kept her from being with the kids. It took everything in her to keep going."It's the heart. I was diagnosed with breast cancer and god gave me a second chance. And I told God I would serve these kids and I'm gonna serve them, and do whatever I can." Gutierrez explained.
Through some of her darkest days, these kids have given her a reason to get up each day.
But serving through the generations, she's noticed a trend that makes her worry: more kids who have teen parents.
"I think they're going through rougher times, because their parents are younger," Gutierrez said.
As Miss Angie walks around the school hugging kids, she says she is in physical pain, but just to know she's made one child feel loved keeps her going.
"If I can just touch one a day, just one. That's all it takes. Just one," Gutierrez said.
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