November 21, 2001

Calling all Santa's!

By Lisa Marguet

Across the nation, "9-11" fundraisers such as the American Red-Cross and the Fire Department's "Fill the Boot Campaign" have effectively gained donator support. Many regular donators of San Diego fundraisers diverted their customary contributions to help out in New York. As a result, local organizations such as the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) are campaigning harder than ever to make up for their losses. Bea Estrada, San Diego Council LULAC President, is campaigning too. Like the fire-fighters who took to the streets to fill their yellow firefighter boots, she is "Calling all Santa's!" asking for donator aid to fill the stockings of the less fortunate.

Bea Estrada, shows-off some of the Christmas presents that LULAC will be passing out this year along with 250 baskets of food.

While kids are starting to count down the days until Christmas, LULAC is counting down the dollars and materials needed to achieve the Annual Christmas Food Basket Drive objectives. "At this time last year our organization needed about $500 in order to make enough baskets," says Ms. Estrada. "Last year, not only did we gain enough support to purchase everything on the grocery list, we had enough money left over to add cabbage to the baskets as a bonus." In addition to achieving their 250- basket goal, enough food was left over to accommodate a few families on the stand-by list.

This year with few monetary donations toward the Christmas Food Basket Drive, $2,500.00 is still needed. "The Christmas baskets are filled with one turkey, dressing, fruit, vegetables, beans, rice, juice, dessert and if we are lucky we will add candy canes for the kids," says Ms. Estrada. "Children don't understand when there is nothing to eat. Hunger pains mean a lot. I want to make sure they have a good Christmas."

The baskets will feed 250 four-person families and will surprise at least three children per family with toys. Of those who contributed this year, the San Diego Padres, Macy's Department Stores, Anheuser Busch, American Legion Post 6 and The Men's Warehouse are to thank for contributing money, food, toys, and clothing.

Families seeking aid this year can call Ms. Estrada at (619) 423-5014 to complete a light screening process. Donators can call Ms. Estrada for pick-up before Friday, December 21, 2001.

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