This article was contributed by San Benito County Community Services and Workforce Development.
The Community Action Board, in partnership with staff at Community Services and Workforce Development, have hosted an annual holiday party for the past 28 years for families housed at the Family Winter Shelter. The shelter runs from December through March and is managed by workforce development staff.
A holiday party is held for the shelter families after they move in, and Santa Claus comes to visit the children. At this party, children are provided an unwrapped gift to take home with them. This year, CSWD has partnered with Grillin and Chillin Alehouse and Ohana Shave Ice to collect unwrapped gifts to provide at the holiday party.
Unwrapped gifts can be dropped off at:
- Dec. 14 from 1-4 p.m. at Ohana Shave Ice, 738 San Benito Street in Hollister. Ohana has partnered with MBPhotography for their second annual toy drive. Bring in an unwrapped toy and have a free professional picture taken with Santa. Toys will be distributed to San Benito County family shelter and other housing programs.
- Now through Dec. 17 at Grillin and Chillin Alehouse, 401 McCray Street Sute B24 in Hollister during normal operation hours.
The Family Winter shelter houses local families with children who have been homeless for an extended period of time. During their stay at the shelter they pay into a voluntary rent savings program based on their income. At the end of their stay, whatever they have paid in is returned to them, giving families an opportunity to save up enough money for permanent housing.
Families are sponsored by generous individuals, groups or agencies through our “Adopt a Family” program. Sponsors are provided a list of families that contain the family members’ sex, age, clothing/shoe size, and a list of three wishes. Sponsors can then select an individual or an entire family to provide gifts which are given to the families on Christmas morning. There is no dollar amount required and sponsors don’t have to get everything on the list. They are only asked to help with what they can afford.