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Good Samaritan donates $1,000 to jeans drive
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Its a $1,000 check to help pay for jeans for homeless teens that got Les Riley a hug from Manteca High Leadership instructor Stephanie Hjelmstad Tuesday afternoon. - photo by GLENN KAHL

Les Riley at age 93 still wants to make a difference.

Riley rode his electric wheelchair into the front door of the Manteca Bulletin Tuesday afternoon with his checkbook and a copy of the paper in hand.  He had read of the Manteca High Leadership Class asking for donations to help buy jeans for homeless teens.

A phone call to Stephanie Hjelmstad  - the leadership class teacher - that brought her across the street from her classroom to meet Riley who said he wanted to help with a check for $1,000. He got  a giant hug of gratitude from the teacher.

Riley had recently been released from Doctors Hospital of Manteca after a serious bout with the flu and pneumonia that kept him in bed for weeks.  He is the same man who had given $1,000 each to the food banks in Manteca, Ripon, Escalon and Stockton just prior to Thanksgiving.  He repeated those food bank gifts at Christmas.  It was something his late wife would have wanted him to do, he said, of helping feed the homeless.

Riley had been a constant visitor at Doctors Hospital over the months his ailing wife had been kept there for treatment.  He would sleep in her room by her side and fondly came to know most of the staff members by name.

He has a habit of returning to places that have served him well such as Doctors Hospital and Prestige Family Living and unexpectedly showing up with half gallons of “the best” ice cream from his favorite ice cream shop in Escalon.

Riley served as a map specialist in the Army responsible for saving countless lives with his understanding of the proper coordinates.  He served in Germany in World War II and later in Vietnam, retiring as a master sergeant.

For more information about the “Jeans for Teens” program go to