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Ray of Hope launching Christmas gift effort for underprivileged kids
Mikaila Johnson, who is a Ray of Hope intern from Manteca Unified’s be.Tech, gets ready to deliver the scrolls for the Christmas Guardian Angel Program.

This is a very busy time of year for Ray of Hope.

Just ask Mikaila Johnson. She’s an intern for the local children’s crisis and resource services who has been making the wish-list deliveries at various places in the area for the annual Christmas Guardian Angel Program.

Each scroll contains the name of a local youngster in need as referred to Ray of Hope – he or she will get three wishes to that scroll, with businesses, organizations and community members often stepping up to fulfill those wishes.

According to CEO Laura Vieira-Saunders, South San Joaquin Irrigation District and San Joaquin General Hospital are among those who have “adopted” scrolls.

“One of our bigger needs is donations for our Kids’ Cupboard– we’re accepting food, (food) gift cards, or shopping using Amazon (website),” she added.

As for the Christmas Guardian Angel scrolls, they’ll be available beginning on Nov. 23 at several Manteca locations, including Chick-fil-A (1234 E. North St.), Chit Chat Café & Bakery (273 W. Louise Ave.), Dutch Bros. (1105 W. Yosemite Ave.), Starbucks-Airport Way (2168 Daniels St.), State Farm Insurance-Lucy Moreno (259 N. Main St.). and Cabral Motors (1145 W. Yosemite Ave.).

The drop-off points for all gifts – placed in gift bags and not wrapped – can be done between Nov. 23 through Dec. 14 at the Manteca Police Department (1001 W. Center St.), Manteca Fire Department headquarters (1154 Union Rd.), Cabral Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat (1145 W. Yosemite Ave.) and Pro-Touch Automotive (255 Moffat Blvd.).

“We’re hoping by next year of once again doing our traditional Christmas dinners,” Vieira-Saunders said.

Ray of Hope continues to receive referrals from the San Joaquin County Child Protective Services, Child Abuse Protection Council, and Human Service Agency, to name a few,

El Concilio and Second Harvest Food Bank are the latest additions to the referral list.

For more information, call 209.597.0574 or log on to