In the spirit of giving, employees of the Imperial Irrigation District played Santa for a day, making a special delivery of hundreds of new toys, just days before Christmas, to less fortunate children of the Imperial and Coachella valleys.
Coordinated by district employees, toys were donated on Friday, Dec. 23 to Catholic Charities in El Centro, a food and assistance resource center for families in need, and to the Narrow Door in Indio, a faith based organization that serves the homeless, addicted and abused, widowed and orphaned.
Both charities provide an opportunity for less fortunate families to shop through the collection of donated toys and make selections for their children just in time for Christmas.
“We always want to make sure there are enough toys for the kids when the families come,” said Isabel Andrade, program coordinator at Catholic Charities, El Centro. “And that depends on the number of toys collected. With the help from the IID employees, who are our biggest supporters, this allows our parents to shop for their children.”
District employees have been making new toy purchases and cash donations to the toy drive since Dec. 12. New and unwrapped toys were donated in specially-marked collection boxes at 25 different working locations districtwide. The response was overwhelming.
“This year, we’ve asked our employees to work together to make this a more cheerful season for the communities we serve,” said Kevin Kelley, general manager. “The district is proud of so much generosity, to be able to touch the lives of others during this special time of the year.”
Friday’s toy donation in El Centro was expected to be one of the largest to date for the local charity.