What a community we live in. One doesn’t have to go far to find businesses, organizations, and individuals making sure no one in Ramona goes hungry at Christmas and no child is lacking at least one toy.
Walking into the VFW post on Kelly Street Saturday morning was like stepping into Santa’s toy shop, with elves—aka VFW Ladies Auxiliary and VFW members—busy unpacking large bags loaded with toys and stacking them on tables based on age and interest. On her way to work, Teresa Hanvey, owner of Ramona Beauty Supply & Salon, left rows of toys and hair products donated by the salon’s customers and staff to add to the incredible volume of toys donated by Ramonans who attended VFW’s Christmas in October on Oct. 20. In addition to the toys, all proceeds from the dinner, including the tips, will go to the project, which provides Christmas food and toys for 13 military families in Ramona. Any toys left over after each family’s wish list is filled will be laid out at the military housing complex on 11th Street on delivery day for the children of other military families living there to choose.
Ramona Food and Clothes Closet, schoolchildren, churches, service organizations, and other clubs, groups, and individuals are collecting food, clothing, gift cards, and toys, and accepting monetary donations in an effort to make this a truly special holiday for residents of all ages. Santa’s special helper, Dick Cessna, each year just before Christmas quietly makes a special delivery somewhere in town, donating a substantial array of gifts.
Throughout the year, some water district employees pool money to buy gifts. This year they’ll provide food and gifts for one Ramona family.
Ramona Pregnancy Clinic is helping an expectant mother with diapers and baby clothes, and the fire department is accepting new unwrapped toys and cash donations at each of the three stations in town. Saturday is the annual Toys for Tots collection at Ramona Airport, and the list goes on.
As Ramonans give so generously each holiday season, there is the concern that some—an elderly person, a family, an individual—will be overlooked. Some are too proud to let others know they need a hand. Let’s make an effort to look for those individuals and families this year and, even if it’s anonymously, include them in this season of giving.