Santa’s helpers will be out in force this weekend.
First, the Manteca Police Chief’s Foundation will be shopping for 100 needy children Saturday at 10 a.m. at Wal-Mart. Led by Police Chief Nick Obligacion, off-duty police personnel and volunteers will be out to make Christmas brighter for needy children in Manteca.
Then on Sunday the Manteca Police Officers Association will do the same at Target.
The lists that selected children provide are borderline heartbreaking.
In the past 8-year-old boys haven’t asked for the latest toys or 6-year-old girls dolls. Instead it isn’t unusual to see lists populated with things such as food, socks, and a blanket to stay warm, and things that most of us would never think a child would put on a Christmas wish list.
Off duty officers and their families shopping at Target in the past have made sure to include an age appropriate toy when Christmas shopping from wish lists as well as making sure they got food, needed clothing and blankets.
In the past shoppers have come up to officers and donated money to the cause in the store.
If someone would like to do that, Obligacion said officers will gladly accept the money while they are shopping and will then go back to organizations that provide lists of the neediest children they serve and shop for a few more children.
Lathrop Mayor Sonny Dhaliwal was among the dignitaries touring the River Islands Technology Academy Monday along with California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.
After watching fourth graders put together iMovies to tell the story of their class project work, Dhaliwal noted there was no technology in the fourth grade classroom of his youth in India.
That hasn’t hampered Dhaliwal from leading a Lathrop municipal effort that literally has set new standards for the Northern San Joaquin Valley.
In working with Cambay Group, they have made the 10,800-home planned River Islands community a reality that includes everything from sensible flood protection solutions, power costs below PG&E rates, and state-of-the-art water conservation to name a few things.
The City of Lathrop’s “can-do attitude” led by City Manager Steve Salvatore also played a critical role in making the new home for the charter school a reality going from barren ground to a teeming campus with 550 students in a record four months.
It’s the same approach that has whittled down required review processes for employers to the lowest number of days possible. The nimble local government stance has allowed Lathrop to snag platinum employers such as Tesla Motors.
And if you don’t live in Lathrop you should still be thankful for what Salvatore, Dhaliwal and the rest of the municipal staff and elected officials do. That’s because the leading benefactors of jobs created in Lathrop are Manteca residents.
Two surveys in the last decade conducted by the San Joaquin Partnership noted that the top address of employees at jobs that private-public partnership has helped bring to Lathrop are from Manteca followed by Stockton, Tracy, and Lathrop.
It underscores that regional partnerships benefit everyone.