October 15, 2021
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Kids with big heart

  • In back is Monique Maldonado along with Adonis and Sophia James during their doorbell ditching Photo: C.J. Maldonado

By: Irene Hilsendager
May 22, 2020

Starting four weeks ago, C.J. Maldonado wanted to drop baked goods off for her mother and turned it into a doorbell ditching dropping off baked goods for friends; more or less to keep the children entertained. While doing the doorbell ditching they left behind yummy food for friends and family that they couldn’t visit in person.

Maldonado’s son saw a high school graduation lawn sign and wanted to leave something special for them. C.J. said we couldn’t leave baked goods for strangers so Monique Maldonado, a sixth grader at Lawrence Jones Middle School, thought it would be a good idea to leave candy bars with a note. They then started looking for lawn signs and leaving goodie bags and cups of candies and chips with a note of congratulations and signed the cards “notveryninja.”

Since then they have received requests from others to have the “not very ninjas” do doorbell ditching for graduates and leave behind more gifts. So far they have delivered throughout all of Sonoma County such as Windsor, Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park and Petaluma.

Two of the children Sophia and Adonis James, fifth grade students at Richard Crane Elementary are missing their personal promotion to middle school because of the shelter in place orders. 

They now have received donations from multiple local neighbors and leads for requests to neighborhoods with additional lawn signs. The students are still participating in their distance learning and when they are finished for the day they take the afternoon to visit those neighborhoods and leave behind gifts for as many graduates as they can find. So far they are approaching 130 doorbell ditched seniors and hope to find at least 200 before the school year is over.

Maldonado says, “It’s been a great project of kindness and shows how the kids have big hearts.”