Puente “rallies” for the holidays

On the South Coast, Puente knows some program participants struggle to muster holiday cheer. It’s a time when family matters most – and for those living without their families, it can be very tough.

“It’s the time of year when people feel depressed because they’re alone …  and also a time when their economic deprivation is real,” says Kerry Lobel, Executive Director of Puente.

Puente works hard to make sure the holidays will be a source of comfort and joy to everyone we serve, by giving people opportunities to celebrate together.

Both Puente’s Dia de los Muertos and Community Posada celebrations are supported by the Bella Vista Foundation to fight maternal depression, by bringing people together in community rituals that foster a sense of connection.

Pescadero’s Anglo and Latino communities enjoy coming together to celebrate La Posada, an elaborate live tableau that limns the Bible account of Joseph and Mary as they look for a place to give birth to the baby Jesus.

The Posada procession on December 21 culminates in a town-wide holiday party with food, music and an auction. Santa himself puts in a jolly appearance and gives children Christmas stockings filled with school supplies and toys, collected by Puente and generous donors.

To that end, Puente needs your help to make this holiday season special for the 68 families and 140 children who rely on your donations to make it through.  Please see our wish list for children’s Christmas stocking-stuffers. New this year, Puente is raising $7,000 via a special campaign drive on Rally.org to give South Coast parents a gift card that will allow them to shop for their children.

We are proud to announce that a generous donor will contribute $10 to Puente for each new donor who uses Rally this holiday season. Even better, the Sobrato Family Foundation will match new and increased gifts to Puente for our holiday program, dollar for dollar.

Each gift card will have a $50 value. “Often what people want is to be able to buy a present for the kids. You don’t lose your ability to pick a gift for your child just because you’re poor,” says Lobel.

Puente is sole provider of holiday gift cards and food and other basic supplies for the entire South Coast region. Puente distributed 85 turkeys at Thanksgiving in conjunction with St. Vincent de Paul and will do the same for Christmas. Puente also provides a meal for hundreds of townsfolk following La Posada, and a separate meal for 75 men during La Sala, Puente’s community living room for farm and nursery workers.

Blankets, sleeping bags, jackets and socks are in high demand, since many farm and nursery workers lack sufficient heating and work outside in wet fields.

Please donate to Puente at Rally.org by December 31, 2012. Come celebrate with Puente at Hanukkah and Christmas! Details at www.mypuente.org.

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