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Ray of Hope seeks help for holiday programs

Tis the season for giving.

Ray of Hope, on that note, is looking for participants for the annual Christmas Guardian Angel Program and the Kids Cupboard Food Pantry.

The latter is a holiday food drive to provide children in need with a hearty meal come this time of year.

“Many of the local businesses in the past have chosen children’s names (via wish-list scrolls) through our Christmas Guardian Angel Program. However, this year there’s another way to help and that’s by collecting food for our Kids Cupboard,” CEO Laura Saunders of Ray of Hope Children’s Crisis Services said.

The office of this non-profit organization in Manteca is located at 113 W. Yosemite Ave.

The children in both Ray of Hope programs are referred by CPS, local law enforcement agencies, Give Every Child A Chance, Second Harvest Food Bank, the United Way, the Children’s Mental Health Clinic and local teachers, to name a few.

“The number of children in need is staggering,” Saunders said. “The job of meeting their basic human needs as well as offer them the gift of one day just being a kid and celebrating Christmas is very overwhelming (and) yet our privilege.”

The Guardian Angel Program will allow folks — family, office, church or other groups — to pick up a scroll or two containing a poem inside along with the child’s name, gender and three items on the wish list (one or all three items may be purchased by the gift giver).

Gifts may be dropped off at the Manteca Police Department, Cabral Motors, Pro Touch Auto or the Ray of Hope office.

The Kids Cupboard is accepting meats of all kind along with dairy products (butter, milk, eggs), pasta, rolls, vegetables, canned goods, cereal, oatmeal, instant gravy, instant cocoa, and ready prepared meals for the homeless.

For more information, call Ray of Hope at 209.883.6411 or 209.597.0574, or e-mail