SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A San Carlos couple says they were amazed after reaching out to neighbors about gifting some holiday cheer to those in need.
Twas the time before Christmas, and the Kvendru home in San Carlos bears similarities to Santa’s workshop.
"Not a lot of space on the counters. It's like a hoarder home," laughed Renae Kvendru.
For Renae Kvendru and her husband David, the journey to this moment began eight holidays ago, when they handed out some 12 Ziploc bags filled with supplies to the homeless. Since then, their efforts have grown slowly every year.
This year, they decided to appeal to their neighbors on the Nextdoor app for supplies.
"The response was overwhelming and extremely heartwarming. I was expecting 20 jackets, and I got hundreds," said Kvendru.
Their converted garage is filled with boxes of donations, including other clothing items, gloves, shoes and umbrellas. The couple also plans to hand out COVID-prevention kits.
"We made COVID bags ... a couple of masks, hand sanitizer, and wipes," said Kvendru.
In all, the couple has put together some 300 gift bags and stockings filled with snacks and toiletries, including some special bags for kids that come with a stuffed animal.
Renae gets emotional when talking about a gift she received as a child.
"I grew up poor, though I was never on the streets and always had food. One year, I think it was Toys for Tots ... some big truck came by our house and gave me a big teddy bear. There are pictures of me hugging that teddy bear. Just remembered how happy that teddy bear used to make me as a kid. If you can give someone that moment, that’s pretty awesome," said Kvendru.
Starting this weekend, the couple will drive through areas with homeless populations and start passing out their holiday gifts.
"If you can help make one person’s day a little brighter, you’ve done good ... I hope this can inspire others to do little things to help the homeless or less fortunate. We need to help another," said Kvendru.