12 Days of Giving Rings in Holidays

Non-profits gathered Saturday to collect toys, clothes and cash for low-income families in San Benito County.

            Hundreds of people gatherd Saturday at Tiffany Ford to celebrate the annual "12 Days of Giving" event in San Benito County, a coordinated effort to collect toys, clothes, gifts and cash for local famillies in need during the holiday season. It was the third and final weekend of the event that included several non-profits.

              "It's a great way to bring non-profits together and focus on the needs of our community," said Stephanie Hicks, Development Director at the Community Foundation for San Benito County. "We hope it raises awareness about local giving." 

              Bob TIffany, this weekend's host, decked out several of his vintage Ford trucks for the event, which were were overflowing with gifts. Santa and Mrs. Claus also arrived to listen to young attendees' wish lists.

             "It's such a show of community spirit," said one of the event's original founders and planners MaryLou Coffelt. "We've got a great lineup of entertainment planned!"

              Roller skating elves, dancers and carolers all performed to Christmas music. For more information on how to give, go to www.givesanebenito.org or www.12daysofgiving.info. 

Julie Finigan Morris

Julie Finigan Morris is a journalist and business owner. She has worked as staff writer for several news organizations, including Thomson Newspapers in Washington D.C., McClatchy Newspapers and Scripps News Service. She is also the Co-Founder and Owner of Morris Grassfed and has lived in San Benito County for more than 25 years. Morris has also worked in corporate communications, marketing, and the non-profit sector. She is a founding board member of BenitoLink and currently serves on its Editorial Committee. She recently published her first novel, Exit Strategy. Visit her online at juliefmorris.com