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Community loads bus with toys for needy kids
pic MUSD-bus-Ray-of-Hope
From left, Manteca Unified bus drivers Debbie Herrera, Jaime Tyson, Darlene Smith, Daveen Williams and Cheryl Ramos deliver the “Stuff the Bus for Kids Sake” goods to Ray of Hope on Monday. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT
Laura Vieira had concerns about having to provide gifts for needy youngsters of Manteca.
She feared a shortage of donations, particularly with the current economic situation.
For these were the same children referred to Ray of Hope by other outside agencies.
But on Monday, her prayers were answered by the bus drivers of the Manteca Unified School District.
For the past two Saturdays, the group of classified employees gathered toys and other related items as part of the first-ever “Stuff the Bus For Kids Sake” campaign, making stops at Golden West, Lincoln, Lathrop elementary and August Knodt schools.
“The donations were so unexpected,” Vieira said. “It will definitely help fill the holes.”
She now has enough gifts to accommodate the nearly 600 youngsters at this Friday’s Ray of Hope Christmas dinner at the MRPS Hall along with 1,000 more from throughout the area.
“We were seriously concerned about not having enough to take care of all the kids,” Vieira said. “But we’re thankful to the bus drivers.
“They really stepped up for us.”
In the past, the Christmas party was held at the FESM Hall.
“We have outgrown that facility,” said Vieira on the change of venue.
The dinner will kick off at 5 p.m. at the MRPS Hall, 133 N. Grant St.
Youngsters involved came to Ray of Hope via MUSD, Child Protective Services, the FICS Unit, San Joaquin County Children’s Mental Health and other approved agencies.
For more information, call (209) 823-3335.