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1,000 plus pairs of socks for needy tots

Project led by Young Manteca City Ambassador Nicolas Perez

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1,000 plus pairs of socks for needy tots

Showing off socks donated by Wal-Mart shoppers for the Socks-4-Tots drive are Manteca Youth Focus volunteers including Lauren Herrington, Marissa Candelaria – Miss Teen Winter Fest, Colton H...

Photo contributed/

POSTED October 4, 2009 2:20 a.m.
Most 11 year olds are thinking about their next video game purchase, hurrying home to watch their favorite TV show or playing football or soccer outside with friends. In that sense Nicolas Perez is just like his peers.

However this sixth grade honor student at Manteca Christian School also worries about disadvantaged children and how they will stay warm this winter. It was this kind of uncommon concern for others that is helping him achieve great things at such a young age.

Last March, Perez entered the Young Manteca Scholarship Competition sponsored by Manteca Youth Focus. He had previously served the organization as the first Mini Mr. Winter Fest and was eager to continue his service to the community as a youth ambassador. As part of the competition, each contestant was asked to create a “community advocacy project” that they would like to implement in order to see positive change in the community. Perez wanted to come up with a project that would truly make an impact and that is when he came up with the idea called “Socks-4-Tots” to provide comfort and warmth for children of families struggling to make ends meet this winter. Perez was successful in his efforts in the competition winning the top title of Young Manteca City Ambassador 2009 along with an educational savings bond. He was geared up and ready to fulfill his commitment to making a difference.

Perez implemented his community advocacy project by teaming up with the Ray of Hope in Manteca.  His plan was to collect socks and deliver them to the children’s organization which has access to children and families in need.

Partnering with Wal-Mart in Manteca, Perez hosted a collection site in the front of the store on Saturday, Sept. 26. Along with youth and adult volunteers from Manteca Youth Focus, Perez distributed informational flyers to customers entering the store, sharing with them his project in the hopes they would purchase a pair or package of socks to drop off in the tubs as they left the store.  Support for the project exceeded expectations and was expanded beyond the one-day collection at Wal-Mart and included a week-long drop-off location at Manteca Christian School.

The outpouring of support was phenomenal and hundreds of shoppers, MCS students, staff and MYF volunteers stepped forward to make a huge difference in the lives of children in need in our community by donating a total of over 1,000 pairs of new socks.

If you would like more information about the Socks-4-Tots project, contact Albert Perez at 209-401-4077. If you would like more information about Manteca Youth Focus, contact Yoli Vaughan, community service director at 209-823-5048.
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