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20 San Diego Uptown News | Dec. 9–Dec. 22, 2011


For those wanting to give a philanthropic gift this season, there are several organizations and charities that accept donations. It’s always an option to give a donation in a friend’s name as well. Here is a list of some organizations and charities to consider.

Mama’s Kitchen

By Allison Mayoral SDUN Reporter

The unwrapping of a gift can be a meticulous procedure. Unfold every taped corner and make sure not to crease the paper? Or go the route of the excited child on Christmas morning, with a feverish rip and tear?

Either way, everyone loves

to receive a nice wrapped gift, especially children. Toys for Tots is one way to give that joy of unwrapping the mystery to an underprivileged youth in San Diego.

Since 1947, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Foundation has been giv- ing underprivileged families the opportunity to give gifts to their children during the holidays. Second Lt. Justin West, spokesperson for the San Diego chapter of the nonprofit organization, said, “It is pretty important now to donate dur- ing the recession. The need is out there.” Last year the San Diego toy drive was able to give a toy to over 107,000 children. “Toys donated from the community stay in the com- munity,” West said.

The toy season begins in late October, West said, and will wrap up on Dec. 20 so toys can be distributed this season. The Foundation seeks new, unwrapped toys valued between 10 and 20 dollars. Toys are distributed to home- less shelters, local recreation centers and organizations. Toys that are donated after the cutoff date of Dec. 20 will be kept for next year’s drive. West said

once toys are collected they are divided up by age and gender appropriateness for the child receiving the toy. The organiza- tions distributing the toys will then know how many nine- year-old boys can receive toys versus three-year-old girls. Any local business can sign up to become a designated toy drop-off location. A complete list of drop-off locations can be found at the local Toys for Tots website, To receive a toy, families must sign up and meet certain eligibility requirements. Appli- cations from San Diego Parks and Recreation state that proof of I.D., income of the parents, residence, and a social security card for each child are needed to register. Local recreation centers involved with Toys for Tots will host their own events to pass out toys.

The City Heights Commu-

nity Recreation Center is one of the local sites distributing toys from Toys for Tots. “We have had close to 350 families signed up,” said Georgina Mena, a Recreation Center employee. Their give away days for registered families are Dec. 16 - 17.

The Adams Recreation Center also benefits from the program. Kenya Jones, a Rec- reation Center employee, said that the toys would be given out at a breakfast with Santa on Dec. 17, held at the Recreation Center. “There are a lot of low income some kids that don’t get presents at all,” Jones said of why people should donate to the cause, “Everyone gets a gift.”u

Mama’s Kitchen delivers

three nutritional meals a day, seven days a week at no charge to men, women and children living with AIDS or cancer.

St. Paul’s Cathedral

Join us at God’s table and

fulfi ll the two most important desires in life: our yearning for coherence and community.

Epilepsy Foundation

The Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County leads the fi ght to stop seizures, fi nd a cure and overcome the chal- lenges created by epilepsy.

Auntie Helen’s

Thrift shop and free laundry

service for people with AIDS P.A.W.S.

(Pets Are Wonderful Support)

Our mission is to provide

comprehensive services for the therapeutic compan- ion animals of low-income persons who are elderly, disabled or chronically ill while serving as a resource for these often isolated and vulnerable individuals to access services that improve their well-being.

Stepping Stone

Stepping Stone welcomes all individuals for services related to alcohol and drug addiction, and those in need of life-enhancing recovery from co-occurring condi- tions. It is our mission to primarily serve the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community.

Alano club

The Live And Let Live Alano Club (LLLAC) is a not for profi t corporation that provides meet- ing space to 50,000 participants annually in over forty 12-Step recovery meetings.

Alpha Project

The mission of the Alpha

Project is to empower indi- viduals, families, and commu- nities by providing work, re- covery and support services to people who are motivated to change their lives and achieve self-suffi ciency.

Voices for Children

San Diego’s foster youth desperately need help, and with your commitment, we know that we can reach them.u

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