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Despite pandemic, Bonita family assembles gift bags for children in need

Bonita family gifts
Posted at 12:57 PM, Dec 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-09 21:19:39-05

BONITA, Calif. (KGTV) - A Bonita family has been making gift bags for children in need for eight years and the pandemic this holiday season didn't stop them from spreading joy.

Usually the assemblyline forms in Diane Zoura's garage the weekend after Thanksgiving.

There's lots of friends, family and food to go around. This year the pandemic pushed them outside, under a tent a week later than planned.

"We are more spaced out this year, we set up outside, we’re taking temperatures, we’re all wearing masks so we’re just being more safe," Zoura said.

They had to delay the event because a family member was sickened with the coronavirus weeks earlier. She said everyone is okay and they wanted to make sure everyone was safe when they did come together.

Sunday, they were focused not on the pandemic, but on giving the gift of love and joy, a thousand times over.

"We’re going to give 400 of them to Build a Miracle and they’re going to hand them out to homeless children in Mexico and then we’re going to be giving the rest to the Polinsky Children’s Center for the foster kids in San Diego." Zoura said they wanted to send more gifts than last year.

In 2019, they sent 750 gifts, in 2020 they'll distribute 1,000 and their ambitious goal for 2021 is 2,000 gifts.

That means smiles on the faces of 2,000 children Zoura's never met.

"Most of them don’t have anyone to gather with so we wanted to be that difference to give them a gift share the gift of love and bring some light into their life," she said.

She hopes when people hear her story, they are motivated to give back to the community too.

"The children are our future and so if we can make a difference in these children’s lives we’re working on the future and making it a better place for all of us," she said.

The bags are filled with puzzles, toys, winter clothing like scarves and hats.

Bags will be dropped off at the Polinsky Children's Center Thursday and picked up by Build a Miracle this weekend to get to the kids in time for the holidays.

If you would like to help, click here to donate to the Polinsky Children's Center, or here to donate to Build a Miracle.

You can also Venmo Zoura to help fund this and next year's gifts: @Diane-Zoura.