Holidays get a little brighter for hundreds in North County; families treated to gift shopping spree

SAN DIEGO - For the first time, Lauren Venturi and Jonathan Uriarte say, they are not looking at the price tag, while shopping for their kids.

Though both are working full time, trying to make ends meet, it isn’t always easy providing for two kids and one on the way.

"It’s expensive. All of our money goes to bills so when we have extra things to buy like diapers or shoes, around this time of the year we don’t have the extra money," Venturi said.

But thanks to the Community Resource Center, families such as Venturi 's will get the help they need. This year they are giving more than 1,700 families the opportunity to go shopping. The most they have had registered since the program started 31 years ago.

"The lower paid individuals are the ones that are the first to get laid off, and they’re usually the last to be hired back on," said Lauren Pause, with CRS. "The economy really needs to start growing."

The organization said it is still in need of toys and jackets.

Anyone interested in helping can donate items Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

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