Victorville: A local group known as Victor Valley Brown Sack Lunches (VVBSL), who provides street ministry and helps in feeding the local homeless population on a weekly basis wanted to give back to the community in an even bigger way. After seeing how many local families struggle during the holidays, the group VVBSL decided to put together the first ever Adopt-A-Child Christmas event and the founder Cynthia Quintana hope’s it will be the first of many more.
“The idea came from Marisela, known as “the taco lady”, her and I started talking and she came up with the idea. Since she works a lot, it was my responsibility to do most of the work and get everything ready in under 2 months. We wanted to help struggling families in need during the Christmas season without making it feel like a charity event,” said Cynthia.
Many of the families who’s signed up for the Adopt-A-Child Christmas event were suggested to the program by friends or family members. Many finding it difficult to provide any gifts for Christmas. Local businesses and private donors came together and contributed gifts to deserving children. VVBSL paired the children with sponsors and a brief background of the family’s situation. This allowed the sponsors to feel connected with the recipients.
On Saturday, December 21, 2013 all the families chosen to receive gifts were invited to a very special day at the first ever Adopt-A-Child Christmas event held by VVBSL. Several local business owners, volunteers and average people from everyday walks of life came together to help brighten Christmas for 42 local families.
Maria Chinchilla is the owner at Edelia’s Legal Secretarial Service located on 7th street in Victorville, she not only helped by donating many gifts but graciously offered her business location as a place to host the event. On her office wall, near her desk hangs a picture of a beautiful young lady and young man. While attempting to hold back the tears she explained how both of her children passed away on the same year due to a rare genetic disease. Sadly since they passed Christmas has not been the same for Maria. Participating in the Adopt-A-Child program was very difficult and emotional for her. “being able to see the children smile, and having a good time mean’s so much to me and it is the best Christmas i’ve had in a really long time“, said Maria.
The day was filled with great music provided by Pastor Daniel and Paula Martinez with Jesus is Lord Ministry. Who also donated several gifts for many of the deserving children. Lydia or better known as, “Grandma Lydia” served up hot dogs, corn dogs, tea, hot chocolate with marshmallows for the kids, cookies and even cotton candy. Not only was the food hot & delicious, but “Grandma Lydia” donated her time and services for this amazing cause. Susan Padilla from the Victor Valley Rescue Mission donated two big boxes with goody bags filled with candy for over 60 kids. Jose ” Pin-ball” is another business owner who was able to come through with 20 additional presents for the kids. He even donated twenty $5 gift cards that we passed out to the homeless the day before. Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus arrived dressed and ready to take pictures with all the children. Instantly bringing smiles to many of the deserving children faces. Several of the children laughed as they enjoyed dancing with Mr & Mrs. Claus. Many of the teens who volunteered with the event are from Jesus Lord Ministry. They helped in various things like getting families checked in. A few other volunteers brought instruments like a guitar and a trombone played live music for the crowd.
“Next year I would like to be able to help more families. Unfortunately, I had to close the list at 42 families since we had no more sponsors. The only thing we didn’t have was tables and chairs but i think it came out really smooth. All the kids seemed to be really happy and everybody was very thankful for everything that happened today. The children were coming up to me and giving me hugs. A few of the sponsors came out and even brought some of there own children so they could experience the feeling of giving. Everyone involved pitched in and lent a helping hand. Thank you to all the volunteers for their work in helping provide a happy holiday for those in need.” said Cynthia.