Children and Youth

29th annual holiday toy drive for families at Emergency Winter Shelter

Community Action Board and Community Services and Workforce Development have partnered with MB Photography and Ohana Shave Ice to for a photo with Santa toy drive to collect unwrapped gifts.

This article was contributed by Community Services and Workforce Development.

The Community Action Board (CAB), in partnership with staff at Community Services and Workforce Development (CSWD), have hosted an annual holiday party for the past 28 years for families housed at the Family Emergency Winter Shelter. Managed by CSWD staff, the shelter runs from December through March

The holiday party is not an option for shelter families this year due to COVID-19, and in years past parties included a donated meal, a visit from Santa Claus, holiday gifts for all children and other holiday festivities. After making the tough decision to cancel this years party because of COVID-19, CSWD staff came up with creative ways to make the holidays brighter for the families in need.

Giving Tree

Ohana Shave Ice has set up a Giving Tree. The tree has gift tags which include the individuals name and age. Children and parents housed at the Family Emergency Winter Shelter will received the donated gifts on Christmas morning.

Safe, Social Distanced Photos with Santa in Exchange for Donation of New Toy

The CAB and CSWD have partnered with MB Photography and Ohana Shave Ice to for their third annual Photo with Santa Toy Drive to collect unwrapped gifts. Safe, social distancing photos will be taken in exchange for a donated toy on Dec. 12 from 10 a.m. to 2p.m. at Ohana Shave Ice, 738 San Benito Street in Hollister. Bring in an unwrapped toy and have a free professional picture taken with Santa by MB Photography. Toys will be distributed to San Benito County Family Emergency Winter Shelter and other housing programs.

The Family Emergency Winter Shelter houses local families with children who have been homeless for an extended period of time. Based on their income, the families pay into a rent savings program. The rent savings program provides families an opportunity to save up enough money for permanent housing and whatever has been paid in is returned at the end of their stay.

Photo with Santa Toy Drive
Santa and his little helper last year. Provided by CSWD.

Sponsored by generous individuals, groups or agencies through our “Adopt a Family” program, families will receive gifts for their children. Sponsors can select an individual or an entire family to purchase gifts for Christmas. Sponsors receive a list of three wishes, which includes the family members’ sex, age, clothing/shoe size. With no minimum dollar amount required, sponsors can review the wish list and purchase what they are able to afford. If you are interested in adopting a family you can email [email protected] or call (831) 637-9293 for more information.

Community Services Workforce Development