CHOC Club Promotes Community-Driven Caring for Children


Photo Courtesy of Zoe Troubh

Members of CHOC Club gather a few times each semester at the Ronald McDonald House to host activities such as making dinner for families in the house, as well as bonding with the children there. Aside from these events, the club also organizes fundraisers to provide direct relief to affected children and families through making blankets, kits and more meals.

Akshay Raj and Manan Mendiratta

With full hearts and a giving spirit, members of the Portola High’s Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) club spend dozens of hours giving back to local communities and charity organizations to support CHOC’s commitment to providing medical care for children.

The CHOC club fundraises for CHOC and the Ronald McDonald house and participates in events, such as the Ronald McDonald Walk for Kids and creates Thanksgiving kits for the kids at CHOC.

“I love inspiring other people in terms of community service and being able to learn how to lead a group of people in something I’m passionate about” junior Zoe Troubh said.

By hosting weekly meetings and directing group activities such as making cards and holiday kits for children in the hospital, Troubh and co-president Abigail Hopper have been able to draw in roughly 40 students every meeting and raise awareness for CHOC.

“We wanted to start this club to get the school community involved in community service and for everyone to recognize the important role that CHOC plays in Orange County,” Troubh said. “My favorite event was our first dinner experience at Ronald McDonald House. Everyone had a ton of fun interacting with the families and working together to make dinner for them.”

These families are going through such a difficult time in their lives, and if we can help them out, even in a small way, it’s fulfilling.”

— Zoe Troubh

Working with children in tough situations has touched many of the members and motivates them to continue working hard for the club.

“One child I met last year at Ronald McDonald House made me a friendship bracelet and she has one too,” Hopper said. “Her sister was in the hospital and she talked about how her sister was three months old and she’s been in the hospital for so long and she hasn’t even been able to hold her yet.”

The club plans to expand its reach and continue serving CHOC and families in need through more community service events, such as making baby blankets and writing cards for the children and their families, as well as summer volunteering in future years.

They go at least twice a semester to do some volunteer work, whatever that may be, and it’s a really popular club,” club adviser Kate Avery said. “I think Zoe and Abby run it beautifully, so I like being the adviser of something that’s not only well-organized, but something that truly makes a difference and gets kids excited about community service work.” 

By working closely with CHOC, the club ultimately hopes to inspire students and teach them to step up and make a difference in the community with the resources they have. 

“These families are going through such a difficult time in their lives, and if we can help them out, even in a small way, it’s fulfilling,” Troubh said.