BONITA, Calif. (KGTV) - On Thanksgiving Day, one Bonita family hosted dozens of volunteers who assembled gift bags for children in need.
The tradition started seven years ago when Diane Zoura and her family went to an orphanage in Tecate, Mexico, and helped with their Christmas Party. They brought gifts and loved the impact they had on the children.
Every year since, they raise money and stuff gift bags for foster children in San Diego. In 2017, the County of San Diego reported 2,300 children in foster care. The average age was 8 years old and most of those kids suffered neglect or abuse from their birth-parents.
This year their gifts are reaching farther, partnering with the non-profit Build A Miracle, to give presents to kids in need in Tijuana.
"It takes $16,000 to build and furnish homes for families in need in Tijuana, Mexico," 13-year-old Gabriel said. He and his family raised money and sponsored homes in the past. Thursday he was stuffing bags to give to those in need.
"Just imagine without their home they're just living in this rain, getting wet and their clothes are soaked and they might not have anything else to change into," he said.
Each bag has an assortment of items. Some on the list: bubbles, slime, puzzles, coloring books and crayons and a beanie.
"Especially orphans and those who don't have that much, who don't feel loved, so we're trying to plant seeds of hope and seeds of love into these children's lives," Zoura said. "If we just share love with other people how much better would the world be?"
Zoura wants people to realize they don't have to be well off or dedicate a ton of time to volunteering to still make an impact, and that everyone can do their part to add a little magic this holiday season.
This year the crew stuffed 750 bags, they hope with more help they can double it next year.