Eureka, Ca., (KIEM)- More than 800 fire victims received Christmas gifts late last week, after residents across Humboldt county stuffed not one, but two trailers with presents.
The holiday gift drive began in November, when the bright red “Christmas Box” trailer started popping up across Eureka. At that point, Humboldt Towing became a collection point, for Humboldt County to give to Tubbs fire survivors.
The toy/gift drive was an incredible success according to organizer, and Humboldt Towing owner Wanda Hoffman. “Humboldt county did a lot for these fire people in the beginning, when they started and what they donated for supplies, family, all of that kind of stuff… a lot of things came from Humboldt County, and I’m really proud of our county.”
The Humboldt donations joined many others at a “Secret Santa” distribution held by the Sustainable Living Youth Co-op (SLYC) Kidz.
“It takes a village to rebuild a village and I am happy to report we gave over $100k+ totaling over 2,000 gifts and gifts cards that will help these families as they rebuild their lives.” Milli Cannata, Founder of The SLYC Kidz says.
Hoffman was there to help organize and hand out toys to 290 families. Each child could choose up to three toys this year. And Hoffman says she saw examples of generosity from more than just the donors.
There were a couple of bicycles donated to fire victims, but deciding who got to take them home wasn’t easy. Children who wanted a shot at peddling home in a brand new bike could draw a paperclip from a basket. If they pulled a colored paperclip they one a bike.
“One little boy won a bicycle,” Hoffman recalls, “And gave it directly to his brother.” His generosity was rewarded, and he was given one of the other donated bikes.
Cannata also had this to say about the delivery and volunteer work: “Wanda and her Family, Carol and Mary, were a huge contribution to our event. Wanda, Carol and Mary came into my life as heroes from above; We had over 20 Santas who hadn’t respond however I was able to relieve the anxiety knowing we had their support. By the time we closed the nominations we had over 800 people signed up on the list, however, Carol helped nearly 20 families to be adopted by members of your community and I knew Wanda had her huge Christmas Box coming down to save the day.”