December 3, 2004

A better Christmas for all the community

Several San Ysidro organizations are having food and toy drives for needy families

By Pablo Jaime Sainz

Although sometimes the rest of the county sees San Ysidro as the “Ugly Duckling” of San Diego, this border community has much to offer, and as proof, San Ysidro has come together to make this Christmas a better day for needy families.

San Ysidro School District’s Food Basket Drive

For the past six years, the San Ysidro School District has held an annual food basket drive where students, staff, teachers, and parents, all contribute non-perishable dry goods in order to give out food baskets during the Christmas season to those District’s families that need it the most.

“We have competitions in each school to see who brings the most goods,” said Rosa Castro, the District’s Personnel Technician, who works for the Human Resources Department, which is organizing the food drive. “Staff and administrators donate hams, turkeys and cash to this campaign.”

Castro said that principals and teachers select 10 needy families from each school and those are the families that receive the food baskets.

This year’s campaign will take place from December 1 to the 13. The families will receive the baskets during the last week of school before winter break.

And on this occassion, the District is inviting the public to donate to the food drive so that the students’ families can benefit and have a more happy Christmas.

To participate, you can take your donation in the form of canned or dry goods (cereal, cake mixes, flour, sugar, etc.) directly to one of the District’s schools, or you can call (619) 428-4476 for further information on how to contribute.

Toy drive at Casa Familiar

For a young child, a Christmas without a toy, might as well not be a Christmas at all. That’s the reason why Casa Familiar, a social services agency in San Ysidro, is having a toy drive this season.

“We want to make sure San Ysidro children have a Christmas”, said Irma Castro, Casa Familiar program director. “Not all children get a toy during Christmas. Their parents might not always have money to buy toys.”

San Ysidro children can sign-up in the list available at Casa Familiar, which already has about 1,000 children signed up this year, Castro said.

“We’re asking for donations of any new toy for children up to 11 or 12 years old,” she said.

The toys collected will be distributed to the children on December 20.

For more information about Casa Familiar’s toy drive, you can call Nancy Beltran or Zoraida Colmenero at (619) 428-1115.

Blankets for Tijuana families

This winter will be devastating in Tijuana and the rest of Baja California.

Church Without Borders, a Catholic organization in San Diego, will take a little bit of warm to the poorest colonias in Tijuana through its blanket program.

Founded by Nancy and Dick Bureson, Church Without Borders, in collaboration with the Diocese of San Diego’s Office for the Missions, has begun this year’s donations campaign in order to take blankets to needy Tijuana families.

“The majority of San Diego residents don’t know the reality going on in Tijuana,” said Dick Bureson, who together with his wife Nancy was a missioner in El Salvador. “This drive and the visits to Tijuana are done so that San Diego Catholics can be educated and learn about the reality and the poverty that exists in many Tijuana colonias.”

Church Without Borders accepts donations to buy the banklets.

Bureson said that the blankets are bought in Tijuana, where for $8 dollars you can purchase a good blanket.

“This way we don’t have to carry the blankets from San Diego and we contribute to the Tijuana economy”, he said.

The minimum donation you can make is $8 dollars, which is equal to a blanket.

To make a donation, you can send your check or money order to the name of “Church Without Blankets”, and write “Blankets” on the Memo, and send it to the following address:

Office for the Missions
Diocese of San Diego
P.O. Box 82386
San Diego, CA 92138

For more information, contact Dick Bureson at (858) 270-8007.

Concierto/food-drive @ Chicano Perk

Saturday December 4th 20004, 6pm

Tlazol productions and Chi-cano Perk cafe y cultura will host a Concerito/Tocada featuring the famosos “skapatistas.” This concert is free however a canned food donations will be accepted the night of the event. The Food Drive will continue through December 22nd. Donations will be accepted all month long and will be driven to an orphanage in Mexicali on the 22nd. For more info call 702.5414.

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