SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KGTV) - Christmas morning, more than 700 families drove through a toy and food distribution at the Jacobs Center on Euclid Avenue in San Diego. Families were given boxes of food from the San Diego Food Bank, plus every child was able to get out of their car to receive at least three wrapped gifts. There were also free gift cards available.
“My little one smiled. He was so happy,” said Elsa Sarabia, a mom of five who drove through.
Sarabia said she works as a chef, and both she and her husband have lost hours at work this year. This event meant more gifts for her children that she might not have otherwise been able to afford.
“We don’t have a lot of money to buy stuff for the kids and we appreciate everything you do for us,” she said, thanking the organizers.
This is the fourth time this event was held. It’s hosted by Shane Harris and the People’s Alliance for Justice, with support from Supervisor Kristin Gaspar and the San Diego Lifeguards.
The event had to adapt this year to be safe due to coronavirus, but Harris said they knew they had to make those changes to continue to fill this need. The breakfast would usually take place in a big hall, but organizers designed a drive-through format for 2020.
“Really just trying to make sure the needs of the community are met particularly at a time where COVID-19 has made it really difficult for a lot of families economically,” said Harris.
One volunteer was dancing through the whole morning as she distributed food, saying she was glad to give up her Christmas morning if it meant helping those in her community who needed it this year.
"A lot of these people do appear to be in great need. COVID has hit people that I’m sure never expected to be in this position," said volunteer Sharon Klatt, taking a pause from yelling 'Merry Christmas!' to everyone driving through.