Catholic Charities, through its CARE Partnership, Care Campus, is collecting new toys for children up to 17 years of age for parents in Mesa to be able to have gifts for their children this season. Parents shop for gifts on specific days using volunteer hours as payment and a way to add a valuable contribution to their communities during the holiday season.
Since 1996, CARE Campus, formerly CARE Partnership, has been serving the City of Mesa. CARE Partnership is a grassroots, volunteer-run community center that provides tutoring assistance, after-school help with homework, job training and during the holiday season, an Emergency Santa program, which relies solely on donations and volunteers.
Over the last 20 years the program has been able to serve up to 3,500 children per year, depending on the community’s needs. This year, estimates are that more than 1,500 children will receive gifts through the program.
Parents can register for a gift-selection appointment through Dec. 19 by calling 480-833-8987.
New, unwrapped toys and gifts can be dropped off at Catholic Charities Care Campus, 466 S. Bellview in Mesa every Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. through Dec. 14. For information, call (480) 883-8987.
“The Emergency Santa Program makes the season brighter for both children their parents because they’re able to celebrate when they might not otherwise be able to,” said Malissa Geer, senior director of community engagement. “Parents are required to volunteer in the community for one hour per child, making a difference in someone else’s life at a time when they feel down about their own financial hardships. It shows families that they are not alone.”
For more information, please contact Catholic Charities at 602-285-1999.
Here's my Valley Views interview with Melissa Geer and Gloria Gomez Torres about the program.