At the end of every year around the holiday season, Puente organizes a gift giving drive for the members of the community who need it the most. Centered around Posada, a traditional Christmas celebration which involves a reenactment of the story of Joseph and Mary, the drive is a time for the South Coast community to celebrate the support we can both give and receive.
“For the past few years we have been running a special online drive for notebooks, pencils, socks, hats–what many would consider the essentials for school and for winter,” says Corina Rodriguez, community resource navigator and the coordinator of Puente’s holiday giving program.
“We understand that some of our donors really like the opportunity to give something that will be put to immediate use,” Rodriguez continues. “The online drive for winter essentials and gifts is a great way for the members of our community to receive the basics they need in the colder months and for donors to choose tangible items to be given.”
The drive, which started in the Fall, has climbed to 62% of its goal as of November 1, leaving exactly 16 days for donors and friends to help us get to 100%. You can select items and donate then online today.
Posada is the Spanish word for dwelling or lodging. Puente celebrates the spirit of Posada by focusing the gifts on items needed around the home–things like towels and body wash, storage containers and markers. Just as our Día de los Muertos celebration is an opportunity to promote help and support among our community, the Posada celebration is also a time for us to encourage each other and give thanks.
This year, the Posada celebration at Puente will be on Friday, December 16. The procession will start at 5:30 followed by activities for kids, family-style dinner and, as always, a special guest will arrive to give stockings to everyone.
For those donors who prefer to let parents choose what to get for their children this holiday season, there is also an opportunity to give a monetary donation that will go directly towards Puente’s purchase of gift cards. We are currently at about 40% of our goal for gift card donations. You can make a donation online for gift cards today—simply mark it with ‘Posada and Holiday Gift Cards’ in the special purpose drop-down.
“As the season shifts to the colder months, farmworkers are not working as much as they did earlier this year and therefore not generating as much income,” notes Rita Mancera, executive director of Puente. “This makes it even more difficult to budget for gifts for their children this holiday season.”
Parents register for gift cards with Puente and must meet income and residency requirements. The gift cards put the decisions in the hands of the parents. Check out this video of parents who have received Posada gift cards in past years:
Whether you want to choose the gifts yourself as a donor or empower parents in our community to make the decisions, we welcome and encourage you to donate to the Puente annual Posada holiday gift drive. In the spirit of being thankful, Puente thanks our donors, volunteers and friends for your ongoing commitment to and support of the South Coast community. We hope to see you at the Posada celebration on December 16!