Toy donations are only half of what is needed with two days to go before the 10th annual free community Christmas Eve breakfast at Manteca Ford that serves as the only holiday celebration some families will have this year.
“We appreciate all the generous donations from our community however, toy donations are less than 50% of what they were from last year and we are expecting a larger crowd this year as the need has increased,” said organizer and dealership owner Phil Waterford. “We are in dire need of unwrapped toys for both boys and girls ages 4-12. Gift cards for the older kids are always appreciated, as often they are left out. Every year a lady who would like to remain anonymous, we call her an angel, donates the gift of warmth. She assembles handmade quilts that she begins making the day after Christmas and works throughout the year to provide as many as possible.”
Unwrapped toys can be dropped off today and Saturday at the dealership at 555 North Main Street in Manteca.
Waterford noted the effort received a big boost with toy donations from the Del Webb at Woodbridge Women in Spirit & Prayer.
“I was asked (at their luncheon) ‘what do I want for Christmas?’” Waterford said. “The answer (was) simple. All of my needs are met, the greatest joy for me is to see people in need get relief . . . This Christmas Eve at the dealership may represent the only Christmas that will experience this year. People will often forget about what you said or what you did, but they will never forget about how you made them feel.”
Last year the effort served breakfast to 1,500 people — many who started lining up two hours earlier in the predawn cold to allow their children to have a hot breakfast and receive an age appropriate toy from Santa.
The free event is Sunday, Dec. 24, from 8 to 11 a.m.
The breakfast of pancakes, eggs, ham, hot chocolate, milk and chocolate milk is made possible in part by donations from Foster Farms and Nu-Laid Eggs. Inner City Action and Manteca Rotary are helping to prepare the food.
Second Harvest Food Bank is partnering with Manteca Ford this year. They will provide struggling families with a 40-pound bag of groceries as well as fresh produce from a truck they will have parked at the dealership.
For more information call Manteca Ford at 239-3561.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com