More Features

Toy Drive in Hollister brings holiday spirit

Residents come together giving gifts to others.
Holly gives to others. Photo by Carmel de Bertaut.
Pauline Amstuz and her daughter Ashley, both of Golden Eagle Mortgage Group. Photo by Carmel de Bertaut.
Gus Haight and Mila Estrada have a chat with Santa. Photo by Carmel de Bertaut.
Judy Solis and Janet Marquez of Reality World donate to toy drive. Photo by Carmel de Bertaut.
Aubrey the Elf. Photo by Carmel de Bertaut.
Associated Student Body of San Benito High School. Photo by Carmel de Bertaut.

Over 400 toys for underprivileged children were donated in a toy drive on Nov. 29. All items collected in the parking lot of Golden Eagle Mortgage Group's office on Tres Pinos Road will be transferred to the Hollister Fire Department for distribution in the community.

Second-grader Mathilda Jenkins and her fifth-grade brother Henry brought toys to the drive because, as Mathilda explained, “We want to be kind to other children who don’t get presents.”

Another grade school donor named Holly said, “I feel bad for the people without and want to help those people.”

Parents Michael and Angie De Prima said they came out to “give back to those who do not have.”

The charitable event was the second annual toy drive organized by Pauline Amstutz of Golden Eagle Mortgage Group, who said the company hosts it to give back to the community.

“We enjoy helping out any time we can,” Amstutz said. “We are happy to be part of the team.”

In the neighboring office, Realty World associate Janet Solis and and Realtor Janet Marquez told BenitoLink they also like to give back to the community that gives to them. They aim to add a coat drive to the event next year.

The Associated Student Body of San Benito High School served coffee supplied by Vertigo Coffee Roasters of San Juan Bautista and hot chocolate to donors and sponsors.

“I think the best part is everyone coming together for something that is good for the community,” ASB President Alanah Martinez said.

Along with coffee and hot chocolate, donors also had the opportunity to visit with Santa and get a hot churro from Churros El Guero.

Graniterock and RJR Recycling sponsored the event.


BenitoLink Logo

Become a Member Today

Support your local independent news.

We work hard to give you the news and information you need. By becoming a member, you will be part of something bigger; BenitoLink, your community-supported news source.


Carmel de Bertaut (Carmeldb)

I have a BA in Natural Science, a minor in environmental studies and an AA in communications studies. I have worked as an ecologist and as a writer.


Submitted by (Michael Souza) on

My family is in need. I sure wish I would have the ability to contribute la or setting up so my 3 kids can have some toys. As of now it will take a miracle to get something under the tree. Disabled on SSDI and my amazing wife works so hard just so we break even or even worse. Please pray for my kids and my wife. I don't need or deseeve anything. Because of my neurological disorder and my inability to provide, Christmas is a burden, instead of joy. Pray for us. Thank you!

Sincerely, Mike Souza 

Submitted by (BJM) on

Dear Mike,

I believe Toys for Tots and/or Salvation Army can help with those toys and other needs.

But you still may not find the joy of Christmas in those things. When life is hardest It is a time to count your blessings. You can start with those 3 little ones and a wife who's so good to you. Many people have no-one. All you need do is look around and see the homeless, the children stuck in the middle of wars, all the hardships others face, to see things can always be worse and maybe you're luckier than you knew. Thank God for every breath in your body. Have a true Christmas this year. Get the gifts, but teach your children that Christmas is not about the presents or Santa, but the celebration of a special birth. Find the true Christmas spirit and give that to your family. I know life feels hard at times, but if you can treasure all the good things, it makes the challenges easier. So do all you can (call Salvation Army and Toys for Tot's if that's all you can manage), then you can feel you've done your best. But open yourself up to the real meaning of Christmas every day. Cling to every happiness, face every day with a positive attitude and you'll lift everyone around you. That's the best gift you can give.

Merry Christmas and God Bless


Add new comment

Add Facebook comment

Comment using your Facebook account. Facebook comments will be published on this page, and on Facebook. It will not be posted to the "Recent Comments" list on the BenitoLink front page.