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Foster, needy kids subject of drives
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The U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots toy drop-off headquarters at Bank of Stockton is sponsored by members of the Agape Village Foster Family organization. Agape representative Joann Beattie is flanked by Marine corporals Edmar Cimatu and Robert Powers. Agape President Janet Kleyn and Rossalyn Johnson are kneeling in the foreground by the sleigh of toys. Others are from left Lisa Stallings, Szilvia Austin, and her son 5-year-old Nicholas Austin, Carol Bradley, John Coburn, chairman of the Agape Village advisory board; Melonie Johnson and Bob Gonzales. The general public is invited to add to the Christmas toy chest by bringing their donations into the North Main Street bank’s lobby. - photo by GLENN KAHL

Are you in the giving mood and want to help brighten a kid’s Christmas?

There are at least two high-profile options you can pursue – one through the Ray of Hope’s Guardian Angels program and the other through Agape Villages Family Foster Services.

Agape Villages is appealing to the public to provide new toys for younger foster kids and gift cards for older ones that are placed with families in Manteca, Ripon, and Lathrop.

Oftentimes families that take in foster kids don’t have the extras needed for Christmas. While the state does offer some financial support to offset food and clothing costs as well as other living expenses, that support has been reduced along with other state spending.

Agape Villages representative Joann Beattie has noted that often foster kids – especially older ones – are forgotten at Christmas time.

The general public is invited to add to the Christmas toy chest for Agape Villages foster kids that is located in the lobby of the Bank of Stockton branch at 660 N. Main St. in Manteca

Guardian Angels

Ray of Hope’s ninth annual Christmas Guardian Angels program grants wishes to hundreds of local needy youngsters.

Christmas Guardian Angels scrolls located in various businesses in town have names. For more information on how to secure scrolls, call Ray of Hope at (209) 823-3335, stop by 1030 W. Yosemite Ave., suite B, or e-mail

Ray of Hope’s annual Christmas Guardian Angel dinner is estimated to attract about 500 children and scheduled for Dec. 16 at the Manteca Senior Center.

The local non-profit organization is looking for donations of desserts, pasta, or Martinelli’s apple cider.

Those interested can contact Toni Cabral at or Minerva Paniagua at