SAN DIEGO -- There were so many donations made to help fund the Dalai Lama’s first historic visit to San Diego back in April, there was a huge chunk of money left over.
The surplus totaled almost 51 thousand dollars. All of it was given in a check to Monarch School of San Diego, which serves homeless children.
“The need is huge”, said Monarch School principal Joel Garcia.
He says recent statistics show there are now 16 thousand homeless children en San Diego County.
“It’s almost criminal that it’s that high”, said Garcia who explains the needs of homeless children going to school go beyond academics.
Monarch School teachers help provide students with clothes, food and materials but they also provide after school and leadership programs, which is where the Dalai Lama’s gift will go to. Gracia says it’s these type programs which help keep many of his students in school.
“If it wasn’t for Monarch many of these kids wouldn’t be in school”, said Garcia.
The school is currently able to serve close to 150 students. Garcia says he expects to move operations to a larger facility within the city that will allow them to double the amount of students.