Children and Youth

Hollister Community Outreach distributing toys for the holidays

Local nonprofit seeks donations of boys toys.

Santa Claus is coming to town after all. Hollister Community Outreach is delivering toys to underserved children this holiday season thanks to a donation from Martha’s Kitchen

The nonprofit will be giving out toys and food on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day near the Worth Saving thrift store, on the corner of Sally and Fifth streets in Hollister. The outreach is the parent organization of the thrift store and My Father’s House, which provides meals to homeless residents and underserved community members. 

Founder Linda Lampe said toys will also be delivered to children in some Hollister apartment complexes as well as the Mission Oaks mobile home park.

Wrapping gifts. Photo by Noe Magaña.
Wrapping gifts. Photo by Noe Magaña.

“These children are so precious,” Lampe said, adding that when children are provided for and feel they are cared for and loved, they tend to make the right decisions. “Something as simple as a doll, a teddy bear, a pair of shoes can mean the world to others,” she said.

Bill Lee, a Hollister resident and executive director of Martha’s Kitchen, dropped off 800 toys to Lampe on Dec. 21. Toys are categorized both by gender and four age groups, from newborns to age 12. Toys include dolls, coloring books, rattles and toy guns.

Lampe put out a call through a Facebook video on Dec. 22 for toy donations of boys toys, as well as for volunteers. She said Lucky supermarket donated 100 Christmas trees, and that she is giving them out for free.

Lampe shared a story about building a relationship with a teenager over the years. When that teenager was asked by her friends to shoplift with them to get Christmas presents, she instead took her friends to My Father’s House to get presents. Lampe provided a gift to each of them. 

That decision, Lampe said, could have been the start of a long road through the justice system. Instead, the teens relied on someone they knew they could count on and trust. 

“I’m blessed because I have a front row seat to see real people, real life and see how people can be transformed with a loaf of bread,” she said.

 

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Noe Magaña

Noe Magaña is a BenitoLink reporter. He also experiments with videography and photography. A San Benito High School alumnus with a bachelor's in journalism from San Jose State and a Liberal Arts Associate's Degree from Gavilan College. Noe also attended San Jose City College and was the managing editor for the City College Times, the school's newspaper. He also was a reporter and later a copy editor for San Jose State's Spartan Daily.