Operation Gobble helps families share in the festivities

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BRAWLEY – In an unsuspecting building on E Street in Brawley, a community learning center belongs to the Comite Civico del Valle, at their doors several local families from Brawley, Niland, and Calipatria lined up, early Monday morning to receive a turkey. An event also known as “Operation Gobble”.

Operation Gobble, started in 1990 as a charity event to aid low income families identified in the community.

Golden State Water Company donates 100 turkeys each year and reached out to the Office of Assemblyman Manuel Perez, to identify a non-profit organization to help. Bianka Velez from the office was able to identify Comite Civico del Valle.

Comite Civico del Valle is a non-profit advocacy organization based out of Brawley. They are an organization that hopes to create, “informed leaders for the community”, and “systemic change” says Luis Olmedo, Executive Director of Comite Civico del Valle. “The Imperial Valley is the highest (ranked) in the nation for poverty and lack of jobs. A lot of need goes silenced and we are doing the best that we can.”

Olmedo works with Brawley High School and civics teacher, Jose Flores, hosting work shops on public health, civics and bringing in guest speakers for Brawley’s High School students at its Community Learning Center.

Volunteer Bryan Felix, a student from Brawley High School, passed out turkeys and helped with the event.

Esther Bejerano, a community health worker, dealt directly with families to identify those in need, saying “We are not an agency that waits for people to come to us, we go to them.” This is Comite Civico del Valle’s 2nd year participating in the event, thanks to Golden State Water’s contribution.

Brawley Major George Nava was present to support the community and pass out turkeys. Expressing his concern for the community and its needs,he said, ”Many families were assisted today, so it’s great to see that they will get to enjoy some turkey and spend time with their family and friends this week.”

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