By Wendy Westcamp and Julia Costanza
This year, a new shelter for children opened its doors to children in Tuolumne County needing temporary foster care. The purpose of the shelter is to provide a temporary, safe and stable home for children for up to thirty days while an appropriate long term home is identified. The shelter is one of the programs supported and managed by the Tuolumne County Department of Social Services. Many aspects of operating both the Child Welfare Services office and the Children´s Shelter rely on donations and support from the community. This holiday season, a need for toys abounds both for gifts for the children at the shelter and for use in the visitation and waiting areas at Child Welfare Services. The goal of the 1st Annual Tuolumne County Children´s Shelter Gift Drive is to collect as many toys as possible for use in these areas of need. Priority will be given to providing gifts for the shelter residents, with all remaining toys being placed in the visitation and waiting rooms as needed.
Hammond Ford has volunteered to sponsor this year´s drive and will also be serving as the drop-off location for the gifts. “We are so excited that a local business is thinking about a local charity this season,” said shelter manager Carrie Lenz. “We usually have at least 20 children around Christmas who are in-between homes and really deserve some special gifts.” Toys for both boys and girls are needed, ages infant to 18.
Hammond Ford is delighted to take part in such an event and invites every one in the community to come to the dealership to place a present under their angel tree. “Many of the employees at the dealership have children of their own. The opportunity to help out children in need during the holiday season is something we don´t take lightly,” said Paul Hammond. “We like to give back to the community as much as we can, especially to children. Our heart goes out to them.”
For more information on the Tuolumne County Children´s Shelter please contact Carrie Lenz at 209- 533-7356. If gifts are wrapped, please label boy or girl and the age range. Gift donations may be dropped off at Hammond Ford, 13254 Mono Way, Sonora, in the showroom under the Christmas tree through Thursday, December 23. Both new and used toys in good condition are welcome. Hammond Ford is open Monday through Friday 7:30 am to 5:30 pm and Saturday from 9am to 3pm.
For questions on the gift drive, please contact Julia or Wendy at 209-586-1495 extensions 101 or 100 respectively
Reprinted with permission from Sierra Mountain Times