IMPERIAL COUNTY — Staff members of Comite Civico del Valle, Inc., and volunteering friends bestowed a little cheer on hundreds of Imperial Valley residents pre-selected by local school districts and other organizations as needing some holiday assistance.
Some 400 families received $100 each during distribution events in two cities on Saturday morning, Nov. 19. Three hundred people came through Comite Civico’s headquarters in Brawley and another 100 were served outside Calexico City Hall, where 50 turkeys were given out as well.
Thanks to its generous donors, Comite Civico del Valle’s Board of Directors designated its unrestricted funding allocated to assist disadvantaged communities for the holiday distribution. This year, Comite Civico’s cash distribution amounted to $40,000.
“There’s a lot of need in the Imperial Valley, and some of these communities are crying out for help. In the scale of need this might not be much, but this time of year, $100 might put food on the table for Thanksgiving or even some essentials for living,” said Luis Olmedo, executive director of Comite Civico del Valle.
In Brawley, Eric Reyes and Isabel Solis, representing Los Amigos de la Comunidad, Inc., helped Comite Civico staff organize the biggest crowd, which was largely made up of residents of Brawley, Niland, Calipatria, and Westmorland. Maria Nava Froelich of the Calipatria-Niland Family Resource Center helped identify many of the families who were assisted.
In Calexico, Calexico city officials, including City Manager Esperanza Colio Warren and Mayor Javier Moreno, Mayor Pro Tem Raul Ureña and council member Gloria Romo attended the giveaway.
UFCW Local 1167 and Our Roots Multicultural Center representatives were also in attendance to assist in the giveaway. Salud Sin Fronteras also was instrumental in making the giveaway a reality.
“It was a great event, and it shows how a community can come together to give back and make the holidays a little bit better when times are tough,” said John Hernandez, executive director of Our Roots Multicultural Center.